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IDIOCY AND HEREDITARY SYPHILISSTUDY OF 204 CASES WITH THE SERUM DIAGNOSIS TEST

CHARLES E. ATWOOD, B.S., M.D.
JAMA. 1910;55(6):464-465. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.04330060016004.
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[BLOOD TESTS BY DR. NOGUCHI, ROCKEFELLER INSTITUTE]  The present study was undertaken to obtain positive knowledge of the proportionate relationship between syphilis in the progenitor and idiocy in the offspring. Wassermann and Plaut1 first demonstrated by the serum reaction test the connection between syphilis and some of the psychoses, while Stertz2 showed further by the same method that inherited as well as acquired syphilis can produce disorders of the nervous system. It has long been recognized that syphilis plays an important rôle in the causation of idiocy and the arrest of brain development. The exact percentage, however, could not be ascertained, until the application of the phenomenon of complement fixation made it possible, since which definite positive serum reactions have been found in idiocy, imbecility, epilepsy, dementia præcox, and nearly all cases of general paresis; while the utilization of the test is of daily occurrence in all diseases,

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