Paralysis of One Side of the Body. Hemiplegia.
WHEN palsy affects an entire half of the body, dividing it through the centre of the face, neck, body, etc., from head to foot, it is called hemiphlegia. It is more nearly allied to apoplexy than any other form of the disease, and is generally ushered in by pretty well marked apoplectic symptoms.
Symptoms. Sometimes there are no premonitory symptoms; but often before the attack there are flushed face, swelling of the veins about the head and neck, vertigo, a sense of fullness, weight, and sometimes pain in the head, ringing in the ears, drowsiness, indistinct articulation of words, or even loss of speech, confusion of mind, loss of memory, and change of disposition, amiable persons being made sullen and peevish, and irritable ones mild and simpering. After the attack, the countenance generally acquires a vague expression; the mouth is drawn to one side; the lower lip on the palsied side bangs down, and the spittle dribbles away. The speech is altered, and the mind is Generally impaired.
In some instances, the patient recovers in a longer or shorter time; in others, little or no improvement takes place, and the patient, after remaining helpless, often for a long time, dies either from gradual exhaustion, or suddenly from apoplexy.
Causes. Hemiphlegia and paraphlegia are caused by pressure upon the brain, by the effusion upon it of blood or water, by a tumor, by mechanical injuries, by the striking in of eruptions, and by intemperance in eating and drinking. Paraphlegia often results from disease or injury of the spinal marrow.
Treatment. In so many cases does the administration of iodide of potash give greater or less relief to different diseases of the brain resulting in paralysis that its use is recommended. It must be persisted in for weeks and months. The doses need not be excessive, and five to ten grains in a half glass of water or milk a day and continued some time will often be followed by improvement. There are other preparations of similar nature recommended from time to time but all depend upon the amount of iodine which can be absorbed by the system.
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