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Article
October 27, 1923

THE ACTION OF ARSENICALS IN THE BODY

JAMA. 1923;81(17):1442. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02650170040017
Abstract

To the chemist, the toxicity associated with arsenical compounds has long been surrounded by mystery. The growing use of arsenicals in certain fields of therapy has given an impetus to the demand for precise information as to their mode of action. In some types of cases, the results of the employment of various organic compounds of arsenic have been little short of brilliant, while in seemingly related conditions they may be far less effective. This is especially true with reference to the management of protozoal infections of the central nervous system. Arsenical compounds, such as arsenous or arsenic acid, do not show the marked "affinities" of many other chemical substances for the chief components of protoplasm. Their solutions are without immediate visible effects on the structure or functional activities of living cells, yet sooner or later the latter die as the result of the contact. To assume that arsenical compounds

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