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June 9, 1945

EXPERIMENTS IN THE TREATMENT OF DEMENTIA PARALYTICA WITH PENICILLIN

JAMA. 1945;128(6):433-434. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860230037009
Abstract

The modern treatment of dementia paralytica requires a long time and a great deal of effort. The newly developed method of administering massive doses of penicillin in early syphilis led us to believe that a similar rapid clinical result might be achieved in late syphilis of the central nervous system. We have not arrived at definite conclusions. We are presenting 5 cases. Primarily, we shall discuss the mode of treatment and the dosage; secondarily, the present clinical results.

ADMINISTRATION AND DOSAGE  It is known that no penicillin passes the hematoencephalic barrier after 10,000 or 20,000 Oxford units is injected intravenously or intramuscularly.1In order to achieve therapeutic results, it seemed necessary to suffuse the brain and the meninges with penicillin. This might be possible by overcoming the barrier or by applying the drug directly to the surface of the brain.In our first experiments, massive doses up to 1,000,000

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