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January 15, 1927


Author Affiliations


From the Division of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, and The Mayo Foundation.

JAMA. 1927;88(3):164-168. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680290026007

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About fifteen years has elapsed since radium came into prominence in medicine. In the beginning, it was heralded by certain leaders of medicine in Germany and Austria as a remedy of great value for rheumatism, gout, arthritis, neuritis, neuralgia, and the lancinating pains of tabes dorsalis. The prominence of these writers made the claims quite convincing. The clinics of both von Noorden and His, regarded by all as among the leading medical services of Europe, intimated that the introduction of radium would mark the beginning of a new era in therapeutics. The chief claims made for radium were that it relieved pain, that it activated enzymes, and that it reduced blood pressure.

At this time it was administered largely in the form of radon (emanation). The "sipping cure" was in vogue generally, while in some of the larger centers "emanatoriums" were built wherein from ten to twenty patients could be

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