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THE BROWN-SEQUARD CURE., Issue 8045, 23 October 1889
THE BROWN-SEQUARD CURE.
The Brown-Sequard cure, though only of reaent date, has, from its very wonderfulness, become generally known throughout the whole of the civilised world. It will be brought more prominently before the Australian people by the experiments that have been made by Dr Crivelli, of Albert Park (Vic.), who has operated on nine patients, and in eight cases has been eminently successful. The unsuccessful case was a most peculiar one, and, from the explanation given by the doctor, the failure seemed rather to have been the result of a structural defect than anything else. The patient was about forty years of age-strong, upright, healthy, and temperate. The experiment will probably bo made with him again, and the medical world being cognisant of the liircumatances surrounding the case, will no doubt watch the result very closely. Of the eight successful cases, five patients were made aware of the proposed experiment, while the other thtec were kept in total ignorance of the properties that were to be injected into them until after tho operation had been perfumed. Dr Crivelli followed that'course in order that it might not be said that success was duo to an exciting of the hopes and imagination of the patient. These results were the same as in the other cases, and, indeed, the patients who were kept in ignorance were astonished at their great and sudden accession of vitality. The tirst case was treated towards the end of September, and tho effects produced then still remain undiminished.
A representative of tho Melbourne ' Telegraph' lately ealled upon Dr Crivelli, and had a long and very interesting conversation with him on this marvellous subject. He is a friend both of Professor Brown-Sequard, the inventor, and Dr Variot, his first assistant, and chief of the laboratory of the School of Medicine of Paris. Dr Duret, his father-in-law, is at tho present time on a holiday in France, and has interested himself very much in the matter. From time to time he has written to Dr Crivelli and explained the whole method at length. Profeasor Brown-Sequard is a gentleman of Seventy-two years of ago, and for ten years past has interested himself in developing his idea. Some little while since he operated on himself with great success, and has followed that with many operations on other patients. Said Dr Crivelli : " I have been in communication with Dr Daret and Dr Variot for some timo, and have read from the medical journals on the subject at every available opportunity and did not commence to experiment until I was fully alive to all the particulars. Tho cure is of no use for organic disease, but for general weakness, depression cf the nervous system, tho nerves of the brain, for peoplo troubled in mind, for men who have overworked themselves, in fact in a general way for all the ills that arise from nervous debility, tho cure has been found most successful. The patient becomes livelier in both mind and body, energetic, sprightly, cats well, sleeps well, and, to put tho matter shortly, ants just as though ho had been well regulated systematically all his life. It i 3 equally as good for •young as old, for the young are almost at liable to depression as tho elderly. I did •not, to toll you the truth, expect such excellent results as attended my experiments, and •am therefore, naturally enough, somewhat elated. I saw by tho papers that n patient had been operated upon at Dcniliquin, but before that I had made two experiments, and do not consider that one is a sufficient test. I do not like to use rabbits, or any other animal. The guinea pig, the animal I use, is found to have less germs of disease than any other. _ Thus, for instance, the germs of consumption are often found in rabbits, while very seldom in a, guinea pig." Describing the operation Dr Crivelli said: "I first extract a gland from a guinea pig. Very little pain i 3 felt by the animal, and the wound I always sew up, The operation is performed in a surgical way. The gland extracted, it is subjected to a close microscopical examination. Then, if found all that is wanted, it is put into a small chemically cleaned mortar, together with a small quantity of pure distilled water, and pounded until all the fluid is extracted. The fluid is then drained off, and put through a careful process of filtration. The method of injection is a very simple one. The instrument used is the ordinary surgical syringe used toinject anyliquicl under the skin. The injection is made in two places, one on either side of tho stomach, and at first is unattended with any pcin. Five minutes after the operation, however, the patient feeta a burning sensation, which continues for another five miuutc3 or so, and then passes off, leaving no ill effects whatever. Relief is felt very quickly, and, I believe, lastingly. It takes me three hours to prepare tho liquid, and the most delicate manipulation is required." (The guinea pigs from which the gland is taken are not deprived of their vitality in any way, but skip about in the same lively fashion as ever. Three pigs have been thu? treated, and when Bhown to our representative laßt evening did not exhibit any signs of distress.) "It is said that the experiment made in America was attended by an accident, but I feci thoroughly convinced that the gentlemon who made the experiment cither performed the operation wrongly or else did not prepare the liquid correctly. The Brown-Sequard cure is distinct from the' transfusion of blood, which only serves to fill up the empty arteries, and does not act as a stimulant in any way. That is only, after all, a crude method. The action of many of the veins aro still obscure to the physiologist, and it i 3 in that very particular that the Brown-Sequard cure fills the greatest want." Asked as to whether tho new development in medical scieuce conld in any way be called an " elixir of life," whether it possessed the power to prolong life, Dr Crivelli replied: '* Undoubtedly so, if the patient be not in any way troubled with a serious disease. It acts in the same way as a feed of oats and good drink to a tired horse going a journey. The fagged horse finda fresh strength in the feed, and his spirits rising, trots along ever so gaily. And so with a man. The Brown-Sequard cure instils fresh vigor, fresh energy, and fresh life into the system, which is thereby buoyed up, as it were. The inventor—who, as stated above, is an old man—subjected himself to the operation, and found himself in every way an improved man. He says his brain became more active, his limbs more supple, and his endurance greater. That was done three months ago now, and the laßt letter I had from France informed me that tho old gentleman still retained his new vital power, and firmly believed that he had stock enough to last another nine or ton months—that is, twelve months in all—when, if wanted, another injection will be made, and another reserve of vitality and energy laid by." Returning to tho cases which have been treated, Dr Crivelli expressed regret that none were present, as ho would havo preferred our representative to make a personal examination. However, two letters he had received were shown to our representative, and both patients wrote evidently in the highest spirits, and in the firm belief that this restoration of their energy was due solely to the efforts of Dr Crivelli and the Brown-Sequard cure. One old man writes from the country to say that whereas he was unable on leaving home to descend the steps leading from tho railway station with? out strong assistance, he was able to mount them freely on his return. He was suffering from spinal disease, and, until operated npon, felt the utmost debilitation. Another letter was from an hotelkeeper, sixty-seven years old. For years he had suffered from aaute pleurisy, together with weakness and lownesß of Bpirits. His ailment obliged him to keep hte bed, but operated on on the JBrown-Sequara principle he has recovored his appetite and wants to leave his bed. The first experiment was made towards the latter end of September, tho next three on the Ist October, and three a few days after.' Dr Crivelli has visited his patients regularly, or else they have visited him, and » careful examination proves to the mind of the doctor that they havo all benefited by the operation, and are keeping well. Several of the patients, more particularly the elderly ones, express themselves of once more being oipable of doing a good day's work. " Although the cure has succeeded well with male patients, It has not yet in any part of the world been tried with females. I know two women who have expressed their willingness to allow me to Experiment with
them. I am, and have been, busy lately, and therefore unable to do all in the matter I would like to ; but in a few days I hope to make the test, I have a female •guinea pig from which I will take the ovary, and, after putting it through a careful process of filtration, will inject it beneath the skin of a woman. Although it has not yet been done with tho female sox I am confident that it can be douo, and that success will attend the experiment." Dr Crivelh wishes it to be thoroughly understood that the cure is not supposed to bs effective in diseases, nor, indeed, in all cases of nervous debility ; but argues that if found to restore animation and vital vigor to nine out of every ten men mankind is the gainer.
THE BROWN-SEQUARD CURE., Issue 8045, 23 October 1889
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