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(Color plate, Figs, a, e, Page 116)

Outline of the section: Bromids show in the iris as white or yellowish white discolorations. View the colour plate in this section.

The salts of bromin most commonly used are potassium, ammonium and sodium bromid. These salts act as depressants and narcotics, particularly to the brain and nervous system. They lessen the sensitiveness of the nerves and their conductivity and are also powerful depressants on the heart and sex organs, often causing loss of sex power.

Bromids show in the iris as white or yellowish white discolorations. They appear in the form of a crescent in the upper regions of the iris, indicating that the drug exhibits a special affinity for the brain and sympathetic nervous system. (Color plate, a-e, p. 116.) The more strongly marked this sign in the iris the more symptoms of chronic bromism will be exhibited by the patient. A very noticeable symptom of chronic bromid poisoning is a peculiar acne form rash.

The eruptions on the face and neck may turn into abscesses and ulcers. Frequently the victims of bromism exhibit erythema and copper colored blotches. They also suffer from digestive disturbances. Mental symptoms are very prominent, there being a distinct action on the blood vessels of the brain, these blood vessels contract causing anemia and atrophy of tissues, weakening and loss of memory, defective coordination of muscular activity, difficulty in walking and tremor of the limbs.

J. Mitchell Bruce, M. D., in his "Materia Medica and Therapeutics", says:

"The great vital centers of the medulla are depressed by bromids; respiration becomes weaker and slower, whence, possibly, part of the value of the drug in whooping cough. The heart is also slowed and weakened in its action. . . . The spinal centers, nerves and muscles are all depressed by bromids, the latter so much so that the convulsions of strychnin poisoning cannot be induced." This confirms my assertion that all sedatives, hypnotics and narcotics are merely brain and nerve paralyzers.

The salts of bromin, in addition to serving as painkillers and sleep producers, are the great epileptic remedy of the old school of medicine. It matters not where the epileptic seeks relief from his terrible malady--whether he consults the doctor on the next corner or the high priced "specialist"; whether he buys nostrums of an advertising quack or visits the great sanitariums for epileptics in Europe; the treatment is the same--bromids in some form or other. This treatment may be varied sometimes by the use of other brain paralyzing agents, such as chloral, cannabis indica, etc., but these, like the bromids, merely give temporary, fictitious relief; they never cure the disease. Professors in medical colleges acknowledge this freely to their students.

The bromids are given primarily to suppress the epileptic convulsions. Unfortunately, however, they benumb and paralyze not only the centers of the brain affected by the convulsions, but the entire organ, some parts suffering more than others. This explains the gradual loss of memory, mental decline, progressive paralysis and final idiocy of the victims of bromism. These chronic complications are due not to the disease itself, but to the paralyzing effect of the drug.

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