At last light seems to be finding its way in among the obscurities of the rheumatism problem. Acute articular rheumatism is a microbic disease, one of whose principal features is its tendency to get well entirely except for the mark it may leave on the heart. Uric acid has nothing to do with rheumatic conditions, and is only a fetish that was set up to be worshipped by those who wanted to find scientific explanations for disease long before physiologic chemistry was ready to furnish any such explanation. Rheumatic gout now disappears, there is no middle term between gout and rheumatism, and the two diseases are not closely related at any point. Chronic rheumatism is a vanishing ailment, seen more and more rarely as greater care is used in diagnosis, and in the recognition of various painful nervous conditions with which it was formerly confounded.
WALSH JJ. ARTHRITIS DEFORMANS. JAMA. 1904;XLIII(15):1032–1034. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.92500150001c
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