Chapter 5 - Diseases of the Brain and Nerves
A Picture of Perfect Health - Diagram
Muscles of the Neck and Face - Diagram 1
Muscles of the Neck and Face - Diagram 2
Internal View of Base of Cranium - Diagram
Cross-section of Head - Diagram
Base of the Brain - Diagram
Cross-section of Head - Diagram
View of Skull - Diagram
Introduction to Diseases of the Brain and Nerves
Inflammation of the Dura Mater
Inflammation of the Arachnoid and Pia Mater
Brain Fever
Softening of the Brain
Abscess of the Brain
Induration of the Brain
Tumors of the Brain
Delirium Tremens
Effects of Alcohol on Stomach and Kidneys - Diagram
Effects of Alcohol on Stomach and Kidneys
Enlargement of the Brain
Shrinking of the Brain
Water in the Head
Dropsy of the Brain
CerebroSpinal Fever
Diseases of the Spinal Cord
Inflammation of the Spinal Cord
Paralysis of One Side of the Body
Paralysis of Lower Part of the Body
Local Palsy
Shaking Palsy
Lead Palsy
Muscular and Nervous Derangements from Wounds
Locked Jaw
St. Vitus' Dance
Chronic Chorea
Pains of Nerves
Tic Douloureux
Dizziness of the Head
Locomotor Ataxia

5.24 Dropsy of the Brain

Dropsy of the Brain. Chronic Hydrocephalus.

Acute hydrocephalus is an inflammation; chronic hyclrocephalus, now to be considered, is a dropsy. It often begins before birth. It consists in the accumulation of enormous quantities of water within the brain, sometimes within its ventricles, at other times upon its surface. When it occurs soon after birth, it advances slowly and imperceptibly, the enlargement of the head being the first thing noticed.
The skull being tender in infancy, it separates at the fontanelles, as the fluid accumulates, and the head, at times, attains an enormous size, so great that the child cannot carry it upright, but lets it droop laterally upon the shoulder, or forward upon the breast.
As the disease advances, the senses become blunted, the child is deaf or blind, the intellect is weakened, perhaps idiocy appears, the flesh and strength pass away, convulsions and paralysis come in their turn, and a stupor is apt to occur which ends in death.

Treatment. The remedies may be external, or internal, or both.

Internal Remedies. These should be purgatives (33), (31), or diuretics and alternatives (302), (145), (144).

External Remedies. Apply an ointment of the iodide of potassium to the scalp every night (185). A tight bandage applied over the whole head will sometimes have a favorable effect. Another expedient is to puncture the skull and draw off the water. Tapping the brain has effected a cure in many cases, and perhaps promises the most relief of any remedy we have. In newly~ born children with this affection, it is the best means.
As may be expected, none of these remedies are likely to give the benefit desired, and an operative interference above proposed constitutes a risk which it is perhaps better to run even if it results in the death of the child, rather than have it become a hopeless invalid with epileptic convulsions and the other manifestations of an impaired brain.

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