Since it is indubitably difficult to cure epilepsy, especially where the disease has existed for some time and is deeply in rooted, we must not leave out of consideration a remedy which has enjoyed a high reputation for centuries, namely, Silver and its combinations.
In the homoeopathic school, Silver has been pushed into the back-ground by Copper. Both of them are excellent brain-remedies, but each one of them has its own definite characteristic sphere of action.
Harrington gives a very characteristic symptom for Agrentum nitricum in epilepsy: The dilation of the pupils for days or hours before an attack. After the attack the patient is very restless and his hands tremble. It is said to be particularly indicated in epilepsy caused by fright, or when the attacks occur, especially about the time of menstruation.
J.H. Clarke, in his prescribes, especially notes that the remedy is indicated in recent cases when the ailment is associated with digestive disorder and excessive belching of flatulence. When the belching is premonitory of a fit, Argent. Nit taken every half hour will prevent it.
The following. In addition, may be viewed as leading symptoms: Intense vertigo with uncoordinated movements, melancholy and timid disposition, averse to being alone; bustle and hurry without, however, accomplishing anything properly.
Kissel, one of the leading representatives of Rademacher’s school of medicine, remarks in his “Memorabilia from Medical Practice;” “Silver is curative in a particular kind of cerebral epilepsy, especially where there is vertigo in the intervals between fits, or preceding the same, or where there are nocturnal fits without any previous awakening. At times an anemic condition is combined with the cerebral affection, and this must be considered in the therapy, if we desire to effect a complete cure.”
The same author there reports a number of successful cures, and as the reports are well individualized, and the medication simple and clear, they Amy serve to give us a good image of the efficacy of Silver in the treatment of epileptics. We, therefore, give his cases in extenso.
1. NOCTURNAL EPILEPSY WITH DISORDER OF THE MIND, CURED WITH Argentum chloratum.
A man, forty-six years of age, had been for two days in a state of mental disturbance. He could not recognize anyone and kept uttering loudly and violently some unconnected words. He was lying in his bed, and when anybody approached, he would beat about him with his arms. His face was expressive of anxiety; his use was small and thin, the head was hot. The neck was drawn up with a tonic spasm. The anamnesis only developed the fact that the patient had for the last seven years been suffering with nocturnal epilepsy, having, every three weeks, several fits, lasting five minutes at a time; but two nights before he had eleven fits in succession, and on awakening this mental disorder appeared. I prescribed at once cold douches and between these cold water compresses on the head.
On the following day, January 24, the patient was quiet and rational, having slept for two hours. The stool was normal. The urine deep yellow, clear, with a slightly acid reaction; the pulse was full and strong, the tongue slightly coated. I was told that the patient had frequently suffered from vertigo between the fit. He was given four times a day Argentum chloratum, 0.06.
February 13. The fits have stopped, only this morning there was vertigo and heat in the head. The urine is clear and normally acid.
February 21. In the night from the nineteenth to the twentieth there were three fits each one weak and lasting only one minute; They thus did not appear before the thirtieth day after the former fits.
February 22. Two attacks of one minute each. The Silver was discontinued for two weeks.
May 24. He has not had any more fits, nor has there been any more vertigo. From now on the Silver was taken only eight days before the time when the fits used to come on.
August 13. The fits and the vertigo remained away. The patient took the remedy for a year at the periods mentioned. He has remained in perfect health.
2. EPILEPSIA NOCTURNA- A man twenty-seven years of age, extremely robust and vigorous, and with a full red face, came to me on October 1.
He had epilepsy for nine years. The fits always come on early in the morning; during the last sleep; they lasted a quarter of an hour, and after working up he would feel a severe headache in the forehead, and vertigo. The fits occurred every four to eight weeks. After wearing a rope made of hair around his neck for three years (he is still wearing it), the fits appeared more rarely, but later on they came back as before; as also the headache and vertigo between the attacks; but now there is more vertigo than headache. This vertigo is sometimes so severe that he would fall over if he did not hold on to something; but it only lasts a few moments Besides this, the patient frequently feels a cold current pass through the chest to the throat, or a sensation as if he was unable to speak should he attempt it. There were also occasional twitches in the eyelids and in the lower limbs. Everything else is normal. The rope or hair was laid aside.
To meet this pronounced case of cerebral epilepsy, Dr. Kissel Gave 15 grs. Of Argentum chlorat. In 240 pills, one to be taken four times a day. After using these, he had no more fits and the attacks of vertigo were much less frequent. The remedy was repeated and it was impressed on the patient, who lived at a distance, that he must not repeat it without first calling on the physician. After half a year I heard from him that neither epilepsy nor vertigo had again appeared, but that the face and hands of the patient were of a bluish-gray color. The patient had continued taking the medicine for half a year. Two years later I heard that he still retained his strange coloring, but he was free from epilepsy.
3. EPILEPSIA NOCTURNA-An unmarried man, thirty years of age, had suffered in his sixteenth year from epilepsy, but had been freed from it and remained well for three years. Then it appeared again and, indeed, in the beginning every two months, but later on. Punctually once a month, during full moon. Every time he has only one fit, but a very severe one, lasting for several hours. It comes on while he is asleep, but is preceded before going to sleep by a drawing from the pericardium upward. A few day before it he feels peevish, and after it he feels tired. He never had an attack by day. All the other functions are normal. In the free intervals he sometimes feels vertigo.
Argentum chlorat. 15grs. In 240 pills as above.
In half a year the patient, who lived at a distance, reported that he only had one fit after using up the pills, but that was the half a year, but without its resulting in any bluish-gray discoloration of his skin. A year and half later he reported that he had not had any relapse.
Dr. Mossa, Stuttgart.