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The differentiation of diseases of the membranes of the brain has been a slow and difficult process. At one time all were regarded as varieties of hydrocephalus; later as forms of tubercular inflammation; and there is much diversity of opinion among modern writers and investigators. But our present knowledge of these affections must still be more or less speculative. This is particularly true of their etiology.
Of simple acute meningitis we know nothing definite as to its cause; its early diagnosis is difficult, and its usual treatment very disappointing. Indeed, so fatal is the disease that physicians are apt to doubt their diagnosis in cases that recover.
The object of this paper is to urge the importance of early recognition and prompt active treatment in this by no means rare disease of childhood.
I will consider only primary simple, acute meningitis, apart from its existence in connection with any preëxisting
HIGHLEY GN. ACUTE MENINGITIS, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO ITS TREATMENT. Read in the Section of Diseases of Children, at the Forty-third Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, held at Detroit, Mich., June, 1892. JAMA. 1892;XIX(26):736–739. doi:10.1001/jama.1892.02420260002001a
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