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October 30, 1915


JAMA. 1915;LXV(18):1557-1558. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02580180061024

The belief is becoming more or less general that the final factor in the production of delirium tremens is a marked increase in the pressure of the spinal fluid. Schottmüller and Schumm1 found a marked elevation in the pressure of this fluid in 80 per cent. of the cases of acute alcoholism examined by them, and in one instance they drew as much as 100 cc. with no unfavorable reaction. Steinebach2 found a similar condition in 75 per cent. of patients with alcoholic delirium, and in the remainder there was a relative increase in the pressure of the fluid. That this increased pressure may be responsible for the delirium and is not merely a condition which accompanies chronic alcoholism is indicated by the fact that increased pressure is not found in alcoholics before or after an attack of delirium tremens, nor do habitual drinkers who are not suffering