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FUNCTIONS OF THE
SYMPATHETIC SYSTEM OF NERVES,
AS A PHYSIOLOGICAL BASIS
RATIONAL SYSTEM OF THERAPEUTICS.
BY EDWARD MERYON, M.D., F.R.C.P.,
A GREAT portion of the following contribution towards a rational system of Therapeutics, was published in the Lancet during the months of October and November, 1871. Since that time I have received so many complimentary communications from my fellow-workmen, at home and abroad, that I venture to print it in a separate form, with the hope that it may assist, be it in never so small a degree, to establish therapeutics on a scientific and rational basis. To render it perfectly intelligible, I have been obliged to supply some prefatory observations on the structure and functions of the sympathetic system of nerves, for on such anatomical and physiological facts my theory is founded. The anatomical part of the subject I have carefully pursued myself, and have seldom failed to trace three kinds of nerve-fibres to every sympathetic ganglion that I have examined. The physiological experiments I have culled from sources which, I trust, will be accepted as perfectly trustworthy.
ON THE STRUCTURE OF THE SYMPATHETIC SYSTEM OF
The studious research which has occupied the minds of many physiologists of late years, relative to the special functions of the sympathetic system of nerves, has induced me to enter the list of inquirers; and although I can only claim, as a qualification for the task I have undertaken, a somewhat extensive course of dissection, not only of the human subject but of the lower animals, together with the possession of numerous facts accumulated by the observations of others, and which I have in common with every physiologist, I venture to offer such generalisations as will, I trust, lead to more positive knowledge than we now possess.
In the first place, I have long thought that there is great significance in the fact that every sympathetic ganglion is connected with both motor and sensory nerves, as well as with its own special nervefibres (the so-called nerves of Remak).