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The alternation and periodicity of the functions of the brain and nervous system have not been fully studied. Periods of inactivity as in sleep and wakefulness for a definite time, the rise and fall of temperature, increase in heart pulsation and cardiac pressure, the nutrient and reproductive periods, are all common physiological periodicities. This same mysterious alternation appears in the diseases and degenerations of the brain and nervous system.
The neuralgias, migraines and epilepsies are familiar illustrations. In insanity the folie circulaire is equally noticeable.
This rise and fall of nerve functions, together with halts, alternations and relapses in disease, suggest a field of laws and forces that are largely unknown.
The inebriate who drinks to great excess at distinct intervals and abstains totally during the intervening time, is a type of the neurotic character of these strange cycle degenerations.
Literally, and in appearance these cases represent in one person,
CROTHERS TD. THE LAW OF PERIODICITY IN INEBRIETY. Read before the Section of Neurology and Medical Jurisprudence, at the Forty-third Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, held at Detroit, Mich., June, 1892. JAMA. 1892;XIX(14):394–397. doi:10.1001/jama.1892.02420140008001c
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