At the meeting of German neurologists and alienist physicians in Baden-Baden, June, 1901, Dr. Bethe, of Strasburg, explained that during the last decade a new nerve-cell theory had come into vogue. It was assumed that the so-called neuron was an anatomical, functional, pathological, and developmental entity. But it had been shown by Apáthy that there is a direct and intimate connection between the neurons through the primitive nerve-fibrillæ, and Dr. Bethe himself had demonstrated that in the carcinas mænas the nervous system performs its function without any ganglion cells. Thus the cell cannot be a necessary instrument in the process like the pendulum of a clock, or the wheel of a watch. Nissl has shown that the observations of pathologists give no sure support to the neuron theory. Further objections may be taken from the fact that several organs are affected after section of the nerves supplying them. In the case of degeneration of muscles and glands, it may be said that this process may be owing to atrophy from inactivity of their functions; but degeneration of the papillæ circumvallatæ et foliatæ of the tongue in the rabbit has been observed to follow, in from about two to three weeks after section of the glossopharyngeals, although the stimulus has not ceased to be applied to these organs. From this it appears that the pathological process goes further than the boundary of the neuron.
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