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THE AMERICAN NEUROLOGICAL ASSOCI
THE twelfth annual meeting of the neurologists of America took place at the Howland house, Long Branch, N. J., on July 21, 22, and 23. The membership of this body is limited in number, and is intended to include eminent specialists on nervous diseases and workers in allied branches of science. From fifteen to twenty members attended the sessions, which is about the usual annual attend
Dr. Burt G. Wilder, professor of comparative anatomy at Cornell university, called the meeting to order and delivered the address of the retiring president. The address was devoted to the description of an embryonic fissure not hitherto noticed.
Dr. Wilder then introduced Dr. Charles K. Mills, the president-elect, of the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania. The address of the president was a plea for the extension of the activity of the association so as to enroll all the active neurologists of the country, and the distinct adoption of a broad psychological point of view, so that papers on scientific topics closely related to the interests of the practising neurologists might be then presented. The president also favored the proposition that the association should meet biennially as a section of the proposed congress of American physicians and surgeons.
The scientific portion of the address consisted in the presentation of a number of human brains abnormal in some way or other. The brains of a delusional monomaniac who perished at the fire at the insane department of the Philadelphia almshouse; of Taylor who was executed for the killing of his jailor, and who had committed other murders; of an adult idiot, one of three brothers similarly affected; of a negro; and what is very rare, of a Chinaman were exhibited, and notes upon the brains of three other murderers, one of whom was afterwards afflicted with paralytic insanity, were read. In the paper to be published by Dr. Mills, he will treat in detail the peculiarities of the individual brains; in his address he confined himself more to a general presentation of their characteristics. The brains were all of a low type and showed similar affinities. The brain of the Chinaman was characterized by a shortening and obliquity of the orbital surface corresponding to the peculiar set of the eyes in that race, and by the extension of the first temporal convolution well up into the parietal lobe.
The presentation aroused great interest and much discussion. There was a general agreement that the brains had strong sutural, foetal, and low race-type characteristics.
Dr. L. C. Gray of Brooklyn gave an account of a case of lesion of both temporal lobes without word-deafness (sensory aphasia), but with a remarkable loss of memory. The patient seemed to have lost all retention of impressions whatever. For example, he was once hammering on the door. The doctor asked him to stop, as he was annoying others; he understood the request and complied with it after asking the reason for his stopping. The doctor had hardly left the room when the hammering began anew. He was again asked to stop; again asked the same question; had no recollection of the previous request and again promised to stop, but again forgot. His letters show the same state of mind; while otherwise rational, sudden breaks will occur in the writing, and then will follow the words, "I don't know when I wrote the above, whether yesterday, an hour, or a minute ago," or words to that effect. In short, his time-sense and retentiveness had almost completely vanished. The patient, whose age was forty-three, had an attack of convulsions, remained comatose for thirty-six hours, and then died. At the autopsy the skull and dura were found normal, and with slight exceptions, the only lesions were found in the temporal lobes in the parts supplied by the sylvian artery (septomeningitis). Dr. Gray laid special stress on the point that both lobes were affected, and thought that our views regarding the seat of the languagecentre needed modification.
Dr. Leonard Weber of New York discussed some affections of the nervous system associated with tuberculosis. Attention was especially directed to the fact, illustrated by cases, that the nervous symptoms often appeared long before the usual symptoms of approaching tuberculosis could be detected. These nervous symptoms were often depressive in their nature, with a loss of interest in one's occupation, with little or no tendency to periodicity, and generally a well-developed suspicion of the doings of one's fellow-men. The cases generally showed hereditary taint, and were confined to women. An important part of the treatment consisted in restoring a healthier moral tone.
Dr. Phillip Zeuner of Cincinnati presented in person a case of auctioneer's cramp. The patient was first made aware of his trouble by a difficulty in crying his sales. He found himself unable to keep up the continual repetition of the same words, without causing a spasm on the left side of the mouth which eventually made the action impossible. He soon found that he could relieve the difficulty by lifting with a pencil one corner of his mouth. For a time the difficulty was confined to his professional duties, but gradually it extended, though less noticeably, to his ordinary
conversation. The pronunciation of sounds not involving the lips, as a and s, was not interfered with. The case was regarded as one of the professional neuroses, arising from the too constant use of very specialized and delicate muscles, of which writer's cramp is the best-known type. In addition to the usual features of such a cramp, there were present subjective symptoms of a depressive, melancholic nature. In the minds of some of the members the case was strongly suggestive of a facial hemiparesis.
Dr. Wilder exhibited a frog from which the cerebral lobes had been removed on the 9th of last December, and which was in good healthy condition. In fact, Dr. Wilder could not see why such a frog should not live on indefinitely; he was freed from all wear and tear on his nervous system, was liberally fed, and was, in short, a living automaton. The frog behaved quite like those in the experiments of Professor Golz of Strassburg and was presented only to show how long such an animal could be kept alive. Dr. Wilder used the occasion to record a few observations which might be new, and to suggest some further inquiries. Spontaneous movements were noticed every few hours. At times the frog was observed to wink with one eye only. A curious observation was that of the simultaneous performance of opposite reflexes. When a minnow was forced down the frog's mouth, it was swallowed by the reflex irritation of the head of the oesophagus, and at the same time the other end of the minnow was still twitching in the mouth and hanging out; the frog would attempt to remove the minnow with his leg, and swallow at the same time. Dr. Wilder asked whether such frogs sleep, whether they were capable of sensory education, whether they could breed, and
Dr. Wharton Sinkler of Philadelphia described the treatment of a case of facial spasm in which, after various attempts at relief, the nerve was stretched, with the result of doing away with the spasm but leaving a paralysis after the operation. Similar cases were also referred to.
Dr. Wilder exhibited the head of a murderer cut in the median plane and showing the position of the brain in the skull, as well as other points. The preparation, which was unusually successful, was exhibited in order to describe the method of preparing it. After washing out the blood-vessels with a five per cent solution of chlorohydrate, a continuous injection of alcohol at first 65 per cent strong and gradually rising to a 94 per cent solution was kept up for a week. The injection was done under a high pressure, and the alcohol cooled to a temperature of about 10° C. by passage
through an ice chest. The head was then imbedded in plaster of Paris and firmly fixed so that the saw would pass directly through the median plane.
Dr. Lloyd read a paper on moral insanity, in which he held the view that the name was a misnomer, that the physician had only to deal with disorders of the functions of the cerebral mass, and that moral insanity was only a form of intellectual insanity. The paper also criticised the psychologists who neglect physiological considerations, and cautioned physicians from falling into the mistakes of metaphysicians by creating abstract entities and treating them as real things. The paper aroused considerable discussion.
Among the papers presented were the following Dr. Sarah J. McNutt of New York read a note on the case of an infant with multiple tumors of the cerebrum. Dr. G. Betton Massey exhibited diagrams designed to show by the graphic method the significance of Ohm's law; and also read a paper on the 'Cause of electrotonus and of the normal formula of polar reactions.' Dr. Wilder presented some notes on the brain, the first of which related to a new fissural integer which he would call the parocipital.' The next was devoted to the demonstration of an ental ridge corresponding with the occipital fissure; while the third referred to the appearance of a horizontal section through the foetal brain in man. Dr. C. L. Dana of New York considered some cases of pseudo-tabes from arsenical poisoning. Dr. Fisher presented some remarks on epilepsy, in which he inclined to the view that the disease was organic rather than functional. Dr. Sachs described a case of right hemiphlegia with aphasia in a child of two and a half years. Dr. V. P. Gibney of New York recorded a case of pseudo-hypertrophic paralysis, in which the microscopic examination of the spinal cord revealed changes in the anterior horns consisting in a diminution and loss of processes of the cells, especially in the dorsal and lumbar regions. The importance of the observation consists in the fact that such changes have been looked for in many cases, but none could be found. The propositions were demonstrated by Dr. Amidon.
Papers by Dr. Gibney and Dr. Dercum were announced but not read. A photograph of a microcephalic girl was received from Dr. Forel of Switzerland and ordered to be reproduced and published. A letter from the late Dr. Gudden was also read.
It was decided to meet at Washington in June of next year. Dr. Gray of Brooklyn was elected president, and Dr. Hammond of New York secretary, for the coming meeting. The meeting at
Long Branch was considered a very successful one, both for the character of the papers read and the interesting discussion which they aroused.
COREA BY NATIVE ARTISTS.
THE testimony of recent explorers in Corea is to the effect that we have there a human exemplification of the survival of whole genera of industries and customs, while in surrounding regions these have been swept away or transformed. Half-a-dozen charming books on Corea, notably those of Griffis and Lowell, have lately portrayed portions of the inner life of a land hitherto closed to our gaze. No small curiosity has been manifested to ascertain how far these gentlemen have told the truth, whether they have faithfully interpreted what they narrate, and whether they are dealing with normal life or with monstrosities.
Ensign Bernadou, U. S. N., has just sent to the national museum a small but wisely chosen collection of art products to illustrate social and industrial life in Corea. Among his specimens is a series of old screens painted in oil on silk, and depicting the paying of tribute by surrounding nations to the emperor of China. An outer court is filled with attendants, beasts of burden, palanquins, and gifts in endless variety from every part of eastern Asia. Coreans, of course, hold a prominent place. A long procession of ambassadors from these various countries marches through massive gateways, along narrow courts, and over elevated bridges to the throne. There sit the reigning sovereign and his family, guarded by soldiers and attended by nobles. In front of the throne kneel the tribute-bearers with their gifts. The faces, costumes, and postures are accurately drawn, but the perspective is thoroughly Chinese in the method of taking advantage of the whole space.
This work of art introduces us to the high life of Corea; but Ensign Bernadou has also had the good fortune to obtain nearly a hundred old watercolor sketches by native artists, portraying industrial life and natural scenery. Eight of these paintings are presented in the accompanying plates. They are rather studies in real life than finished paintings, the latter usually partaking of the grotesqueness characteristic of both Chinese and Japanese.
House-builders at work (fig. 2). —Mr. Lowell also describes minutely the work of the joiner and the tiler. Hod-carriers are unknown, and unnecessary, because the attendant can easily throw his tiles to the workman while the balls of mud are passed up in netting. The chalk line' is blackened with ink. Plane, saw, square, and adze are of the most primitive type. The presence of the all-seeing eye' also seems necessary. Spinning and weaving (fig. 3). The textile practices of Corea exhibit the most primitive types of Chinese weaving. The loom for matting is very rude, although the work is excellent. The warp is held in place by a stone tied to the end of each thread. Half of these rest on one side, and half on the other side, of the upper beam. After the insertion of a weft straw, each of these stones is shifted to the opposite side.
Shoeing a refractory horse (fig. 4). The blacksmiths and other metal-workers of Corea are quite clever. Some of their silver and copper inlaying done on jewelry boxes and furniture contrasts favorably with similar work by their neighbors. The bellows consists of a square box, in which a plunger of wood packed with paper passes up
A lesson in archery (fig. 5). — Archery is still a favorite amusement among the Coreans, and their soldiers are obliged to compete in yearly practice for prizes. Men of straw are set up in boats as marks. Great care is bestowed both on bows and arrows, and the junior members of the corps are carefully instructed in the precedents of practice.
Bonzes selling charms (fig. 6). - Mr. Lowell characterizes Corea as a land devoid of religion, Confucianism swaying the upper classes, and old superstitions the lower. Sorcerers and fortunetellers sell their charms to men and women, often parading them in public, and announcing their presence with rude music. Mr. Griffis's' man of straw' plays an important part, even now being sold and kicked to pieces as a scape-goat for the man's former self. In the drawing of the sorcerer is exhibited the quaint custom among Corean women of wearing on the top of the head a garment which they may draw over the face on the appearance of a man.