JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer
Reiling, Assistant Editor.
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.
SYPHILOPHOBIA. JAMA. 2005;293(19):2420. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.293.19.2420-a
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