The ethereal sulphates in the urine (compounds of sulphuric acid with organic radicals, of which the best known are indol, skatol, and phenol) derive their importance from the fact that they form an excellent index of the degree of intestinal putrefaction and absorption. The authors estimated them by Salkowsky's method in the urine of four epileptics, and in three cases of sitiophobia. The epileptic cases were specially chosen from cases showing clinically gastro-intestinal disorder. With the approach of an epileptic fit or of the disturbance which may replace it, the quantity of the ethereal sulphates was increased, reaching its highest point with the onset of the fit, returning slowly in some cases, immediately in others, to a normal degree of elimination. The cases of sitiophobia were associated with marked hallucinations in one case, with melancholia in another, and in the third with delusions of persecution and poisoning. The authors, taking into consideration the composition of the diet on which they were forcibly fed, come to the conclusion that there is in these cases disturbance of intestinal function and especially putrefaction of the albuminoids, as evidenced by the increase of the sulphates excreted. Whenever food was taken spontaneously, the tables show a marked decrease of these decomposition products.
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