Dr. Clouston in the unavoidable absence of Dr. Ford Robertson made the following remarks:—The first fact that I have to direct the attention of the meeting to is that Dr. Ford Robertson has devised a new method of examining nerve-tissues by depositing platinum in them. By the use of this platinum method he has demonstrated, amongst other things, that what is called the neuroglia is composed of two sets of elements instead of one, as is generally considered. The neuroglia, as exhibited by this and other methods, is attached to the arteries, to the fibres, and to the brain-cells, forming a generally supporting medium. Dr. Robertson has discovered that in addition to this there is another set of cells, which he has called the mesoglia cells, consisting in a typical form of a cell-body, a nucleus and a number of processes. These processes are in no way connected either with the vascular substance or with the nerve-cells or the nerve-fibres. The mesoglia cells are entirely different from neuroglia cells in appearance, and are found in both the white and grey matter, and in such abundance that Dr. Robertson thinks that there are as many mesoglia cells as there are neuroglia cells existing all through the brain. Sometimes they have no processes, sometimes two processes, but the illustrations show a typical mesoglia cell from the dog and from man. The exact function of these mesoglia cells we certainly do not know, but they certainly do not act in any way as a support to the general brain structure. The mesoglia cells seem to have a phagocyte action in certain pathological conditions. They supply, if not all, at least the greater part of the amyloid bodies which are found in some of the chronic brain degenerations. I think you will agree that it is very important that Dr. Ford Robertson should have discovered a new element in the brain, the particular use of which will doubtless be demonstrated by some of the large number of enthusiastic workers on this subject.
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