The editor of the “American Journal of Insanity,” Dr. Blumer, is always glad to receive assistance from his English confrères, and in the Journal for July are two papers—one by Dr. Campbell, “On Three Cases of Recovery after a Lengthened Duration of Insanity, with Remarks;” the other by the writer of this retrospect, “On Some of the Uncommon Causes of Imbecility.” The first of Dr. Campbell's cases was one of periodic excitement, occurring always at a menstrual period, though not at every period, and is of great interest. For a period of nine years the patient had frequent and severe attacks of maniacal excitement. She was treated with large doses of bromide of potassium, and for seventeen years required asylum treatment, yet she recovered completely. The chief features in the second case were the disappearance of fixed delusions which had been held for about fifteen years, the improvement being coincident with or closely following severe bodily disease. The patient had been an inmate of the asylum for nearly nineteen years. The third case was under treatment for fourteen years, and is noteworthy on account of the disappearance of both hallucinations and delusions. Dr. Campbell is of opinion that chronic patients should be frequently shifted from ward to ward, their occupation changed, and that they should be subjected to new influences. Everyone will agree with him that “if it were possible to keep the mind vigorous and active more cases of lengthened insanity would recover.”
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