I will be glad to limit the meaning of the word intoxication, in this paper, to the injurious effects on the cerebrum of toxic agents present in the circulation. Toxic agents in the blood, of course, have their chemic effects upon other structures, but in the ordinary interpretation of the word, the symptoms of intoxication are those that belong to the brain. I will use the word in that sense.
This organ is exceedingly sensitive to the action of certain agents; so much so, in certain instances, that it seems to be the only organ affected, or affected so far in advance of others that their disturbance is not appreciated. The exceedingly soft colloid character of the functionating central parts of its nerve cells and fibers render them the most sensitive of all the structures of the body to some agents; and their excessively rapid functional motion is most delicately