DR. FARRINGTON. I would like to say a few words regarding Dr. Hughes’s paper. Dr. Hughes has very clearly revealed the similarity between Epilepsy and Prussic Acid (Hydrocyanic Acid) poisoning, especially in that from which has been termed la grand mal.
Hydrocyanic Acid has already been used by Homeopathicians in spasms from various causes. Thus Buchner recommends it in uraemic convulsions, placing it with its relative, Tabacum, or Nicotine. H.N.Guernsey characterizes it thus: “Gasping for breath; bluish tint of the skin; muscles of back, face, and jaw principally affected.” So there is an agreement between these two authorities-Dr. Buchner terming the condition asphyxia, from its known power to suspend blood-oxygenation; Dr. Guernsey picturing the cyanotic surface resulting therefrom.
It would appear, then, that the Acid crescendos to those forms of Epilepsy which present this marked dyspnoea and cyanosis. Hence it is not applicable to la petit mal, with its mild paroxysm, and which progresses insidiously towards irreparable imbecility.
We must, however, remember that the remedy simulating the paroxysm only is, at best, merely a palliative. In our therapeutics there are so many contingencies to be noted that we are safe only in a recognised study of all the symptoms of the patient.
A remedy may cure a case even though it possess a very imperfect resemblance to the symptoms of the paroxysm. For instance, sulphur, after suppressed Itch; Calcarea Carb. in fleshy, scrofulous women with profuse menses, after suppression of chronic eruption. Bufo, after internal suppurations; Nux Vom. when the aura starts from the solar plexus; Silicea, scrofulo-rachitic persons, etc.
Each of these remedies may possibly produce a picture of an epileptic convulsion, but its distinctive characteristic lies outside this similarity. While, then, we welcome this addition to our armamentarium, let us not treat it as a specific; but, in the language of Dr.Hughes, let it aid us in the task of curing this formidable disease, Epilepsy.