nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
See here for more discussion.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Medical Quote Of The Day

Jean Martin Charcot is considered the father of modern neurology, and was the first to explore hypnosis and the diagnosis of hysteria.  Freud was a student of Charcot.  The image shows him demonstrating hypnosis.

[For extra credit, have you ever had a doctor scrape the bottom of your feet with the percussion hammer?  This elicits a reflex, which, if abnormal, is called Babinski's sign.  The guy holding up the woman in the picture is Joseph Babinski.]

In the quotation below, Charcot is using the word "nervous" in the old sense of a patient with a neurological or mental illness.
"In dealing with a nervous patient, you should regard the malady before you merely as an episode.  Thus, in a case of chorea, it is only necessary to inquire how long it has existed.  The condition of the patient is only an accident in the history of the disease, just as each of us is only an accident in the history of humanity."
--De l'expectation en medecine, Jean Martin Charcot [1825-1893]

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