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JAMA 100 Years Ago
May 18, 2005


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2005;293(19):2420. doi:10.1001/jama.293.19.2420-a

One of the important factors in the reduction of the mortality from tuberculosis has undoubtedly been the gradual obliteration of the conviction that used to be so prevalent, that this disease is incurable. As the result of the persuasion that cure is not only possible, but even probable, if the affection is seen in time, many a tuberculous patient has taken heart and by auto-suggestion has helped on his treatment very materially. There is at least one other of the infectious granulomata in which a corresponding hopefulness in the therapeutics of the disease would do much to lessen the severity of symptoms and undoubtedly would help to prevent the occurrence of some of the more serious sequelæ. Professor Fournier of Paris, certainly an authority on syphilis, has recently declared that sufferers from this disease who have their initial lesion on the finger are more likely to suffer from severe general symptoms than are those whose affection begins with a genital chancre. Other observers have called attention to the same fact. Fournier explains it by saying that those who acquire syphilis extra-genitally are often physicians or members of the intelligent classes who know the character of the disease and who are accordingly very much depressed by having acquired it. The lowering of resistive vitality by worry makes the course of the affection much more severe than it would otherwise be.