Imágenes de páginas

weighing 8 kilograms raised the blood pressure corresponding to 30 millimetres of mercury.

The therapeutic applications of adrenalin are already numerous, while new uses for it are constantly found by specialists. Non-irritating, non-poisonous, noncumulative, and without injurious properties, adrenalin is useful in all forms of inflammation and is the strongest stimulant of the heart. It has been used with good results as an antidote in morphine and opium poisoning, in circulatory failure, in the prevention of collapse in anæsthesia, and in allied conditions. To prevent bleeding in surgical operations, no better hæmostatic agent than adrenalin has been found. It has also given good results in some cases of deafness, hay fever, nasal hæmorrhage, and various forms of heart disease.

Adrenalin is prepared by isolating the active principle of the suprarenal glands. Before the discovery of adrenalin, many scholars of Europe and America endeavoured to discover a similar substance. It was forty-six years ago that Addison first observed the certain changes of the suprarenal glands and their relations to the disease now bearing his name. Oliver and Schafer's work on the physiological action of the glandular extract was soon followed by those of Scymonowicz, Cybulski, and later by many others. Thus the suprarenal therapy became not only a subject of scientific interest, but was found invaluable in various branches of medical practice. The marvellous therapeutic value of the suprarenal extract was established and proved beyond all doubt. And, as its use increased, a desire to obtain its active ingredient in pure state was generally felt by medical practitioners. This need was felt all the more keenly because the suprarenal extract, if not pure, is prone to deteriorate very rapidly,

thus requiring the preparation of fresh extract for each use.

Before Dr. Takamine many able chemists devoted their energies to the isolation of the active principle of the suprarenal glands, resulting in J. J. Abel's discovery of epinephrin and Otto Von Furth's discovery of suprarenin. But neither of these authors succeeded in securing the active ingredient in pure, stable, definite forms, and it remained for Dr. Takamine to attain the end long coveted by chemists and physicians throughout the world.

Another creation of Dr. Takamine is called the TakaDiastase, now extensively used for amylaceous dyspepsia. This medical matter is the result of an ingenious! utilization of microbes. The mere mention of the word microbe or bacterium is enough to horrify the laymen, yet the scientists tell us that no human being can exist without bacteria. The fact is that there are two kinds of microbes, one useful, the other harmful. It is the useful kind of bacteria that Dr. Takamine has captured and utilized for the promotion of human well-being.

The process of creating this diastase is described by Dr. Takamine as follows: “The bran of wheat is well fertilized by steam; on to that spores of such fungus are sprinkled, and are allowed to grow in an incubator, at a proper temperature and humidity. In the course of fortyeight hours the bran will be covered with a dense growth of this microscopical plant, and the mass will be found to be rich in diastase, from which it is extracted by percolation with water. The diastase dissolved is now precipitated by the addition of strong alcohol, thus separating it from other impurities that may exist in the extract. The precipitate is now pressed and dried and constitutes Taka-Diastase. It has the remarkable diastasic power of converting a hundred times its own

weight of starch in ten minutes to a proper temperature and condition."

Considering that at least two-thirds of our daily food consist of starchy material, and that more than two-thirds of the cases of indigestion are caused by the imperfect digestion of starchy food, the invention of Taka-Diastase is a boon to humanity. This diastasic substance is especially valuable in that it supplies the deficiency of the ptyalin of saliva. While the pepsin-creating organs in the human body are comparatively well protected in the system, the salivary glands are more exposed to abuse. No other medical preparation is more efficient than TakaDiastase in counteracting this abuse of salivary glands. Because of its stability, Taka-Diastase is far more useful than other diastasic preparations so far obtained from other sources.

In his laboratory in New York, Dr. Takamine, with several assistants, is still engaged in new researches. In private life no one is happier than he. Both to Americans and Japanese his home is synonymous with hospitality. Mrs. Takamine, a cultured American woman, as well understands the Orient as she is at home with the Occident. Their children-bright, healthy, handsome are typical of children born to American-Japanese families of the better class. Their oldest son, a graduate of Yale, is now in Germany continuing scientific studies.

No less important a contribution to science than that made by Dr. Takamine is the isolation by Dr. H. Noguchi, of the Rockefeller Institute, of Spirochata pallida in pure state. Spirocheta pallida, as is well known, is the most effective causative agent of syphilis. The cultivation of this organism in pure state has been sought by many scientists, as it affords a great advantage in the treatment of syphilis. Up to the present time three investigators

claim to have succeeded in cultivating Spirocheta pallida in pure state-Muhlens, W. H. Hoffmann, and Dr. Noguchi. Muhlens announced in 1909 and 1910 his success in obtaining one strain of the pallida in pure culture. Hoffmann, who assisted Muhlens, reported in 1911 that he was able to isolate five more strains of the same organism as was obtained by Muhlens. Dr. Noguchi contends that the spirochetes cultivated by these two authorities are not in reality the pallida, but what is known as Spirochata microdentium. On the other hand, the Japanese scientist succeeded in isolating six different strains of Spirocheta pallida from the orchitis material of rabbits, and also seven strains directly from chancres, condylomata, and skin papules of human subjects. In his Fenger-Senn memorial address before the Chicago Medical Society, Dr. Noguchi explained how he isolated Spirochata pallida. In the course of the address he said:

Syphilis is a chronic infectious disease, and presents many difficulties in diagnosis. During its very early period, it is principally a disease of dermatologic, genitourinary, and laryngologic fields. There the clinical appearance, demonstration of Spirochęta pallida and the Wassermann reaction usually settle the diagnosis. On the other hand, as soon as it enters its chronic course, it manifests most diverse and often obscure symptoms. The direct demonstration of pallida becomes laborious and often impossible, the serum reaction less frequent, and the clinical aspect less decisive. A great many cases of the disease at this period now pass into the fields of medicine, surgery, ophthalmology, neurology, and psychiatry. Here the detection of the allergic condition will doubtless aid in deciding the diagnosis of dubious cases.

“Since the discovery of Spirocheta pallida, various

[ocr errors]

investigators have attempted to introduce a specific cutaneous reaction based on the allergy in syphilis. Thus, Meirosky, Wolff-Eisner, Munk, Tedeschi, Nobl, Ciuffo, Nicolas-Tavre-Gauthier, Neisser-Bruck, Jadassohn, and Fontana carried out a series of experiments by means of an extract obtained from syphilitic tissues containing the pallida. They were much handicapped by not having a pure pallida extract for such purposes. One can imagine the way in which an extract containing various bacteria besides the pallida would react. With such an impure antigen, some of them obtained quite favourable results, while others were unable to come to any conclusive result.

After obtaining the pure cultures of several strains of pallida in 1910, I commenced my experimental work on rabbits with the purpose of ascertaining if these animals could not be made allergic to the extract of pure pallida. By repeated intravenous injections of the pallida antigen into the rabbits for several months and then giving them a month's rest, I tested them with the extract, which was termed luetin, given intradermally. A proper control was provided. They all reacted to the luetin with marked inflammation, some leading to pustulation in several days. No normal rabbit reacted. While I was still working with the animals, Professor Welch suggested that I make the test on human subjects. Through his encouragement I commenced the work at once at different dispensaries and hospitals."

Another important discovery by Dr. Noguchi is the culture in vitro, the four blood spirochætæ, called Spiroch@ta duttoni, Spirochata kochi, Spirochęta obermeiri, and Spirochæta novyi. These four distinct species of spirochætæ are responsible for the disease known as relapsing fever. The organisms in the blood of patients

« AnteriorContinuar »