On January 12th, 1901, H—, æt. 40 years, was admitted to Sainte Anne Asylum, having just escaped imprisonment, owing to Dr. Garnier's certificate of “mental debility, melancholia, confusion of ideas, excitement at intervals, want of appreciation of his condition, etc.” A few days later he came under the care of Dr. Marie at Villejuif. He became troublesome on account of his pilfering habits. On seven or eight occasions he robbed patients of such things as books, ink-stands, pencils, etc. When the objects were found in his pockets, he always maintained that he was driven to steal in spite of himself. In March, he was placed on a diet without salt—or rather with a minimum of salt—(75 grains a day in his bread and milk); in addition, he was given 30 grains of bromide of potassium per diem. On the first day, (March 1st) of this treatment he committed a robbery, but never after. Moreover, his demented appearance improved somewhat, and he became sociable with the other patients; towards the middle of the month he began to occupy himself. At the end of March, he was put on ordinary diet, and the bromide of potassium suppressed, but the kleptomania did not recur. From April 1st to June 19th, he was quiet and well behaved, and presented nothing unusual. Suddenly, on June 15th, he presented slight left hemiplegia on getting up in the morning; he got up, although dazed and complaining of severe headache; at 7 o'clock he was seized with epileptiform convulsions lasting five minutes, followed by coma with high temperature, and ending fatally on the third day. There was marked albuminuria. Venesection was performed. At the autopsy large congested inflamed kidneys were found, and hypertrophic cirrhosis of the liver. The interest of the case is the apparent cure of the kleptomania under the influence of the bromide and cutting off the table salt.
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