I. General Remarks. — It has frequently appeared to me that a rapid and easy method of staining according to Nissl would be of great advantage. It has been my routine practice to cut a fresh section and to stain according to Bevan Lewis in every case of insanity in which an autopsy had been obtained, and from that to record a few microscopic notes. A fairly complete description of neuroglial changes could thus be recorded, but only in a minor degree the changes which had occurred in cell protoplasm, i. e. cytological changes and various degenerations. For this one has to stain according to the method of Nissl, a method which stands out supreme for this purpose. But even Nissl's method is by no means perfect, and there are many drawbacks and imperfections. Hardening in alcohol causes considerable shrinkage; in fact, the main part of the cell is occupied by the nucleus. Alcohol also largely dissolves out fat, and therefore fatty degeneration cannot be shown. Again, it is not every asylum laboratory that has equipment for Nissl's method, but every asylum has the means of making a Nissl preparation according to a way I am about to describe.
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