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Fatty Degeneration Addisons Disease and Other

fat, bodies, adrenal and capsules

FATTY DEGENERATION- ADDISON'S DISEASE AND OTHER This is not very uncommon, and appears to be most frequently observed in elderly persons. No associated symptoms have been noted.

My colleague, Dr. Kanthack, Lecturer on Pathology at St. Bar tholomew's Hospital, has kindly furnished me with some of his un published researches into the condition of the adrenal bodies in re spect of the presence or absence of fatty matter, more especially in the cortical portions. He states that it is affirmed that the cortex of the adrenal bodies in adults is fatty. Dr. Kanthack finds that fatty de generation is met with in cardiac diseases, in pulmonary diseases, and in anemia. At birth, it is stated that no fat is found in the capsules, that gradually the cortex becomes lighter and eventually yellow, owing to the presence of fatty matter. In emaciation, the fat is said to disappear. Dr. lianthackT finds that most healthy children show very little fat in the capsules. Newly born kittens always show much fat in the liver and adrenals, and this condition lasts for three or four weeks, even when the animals are well-fed. He has not yet examined young animals at later dates. In starving, marasmic infants (a few months old) the cortex of the adrenals is very fatty. Still-born, or very young, infants show hardly any fat, but these are exceptional cases. Starving of animals for from thirty-six to sixty hours causes a marked appearance of fat in the capsules, or at any rate of a great in crease in previously existing fat. In these cases of starving, the fatty

changes in the adrenal bodies are always in advance of those met with in the liver, and not seldom the latter organ is quite free from fat.

Acute and subacute poisoning (bacterial, snake, mineral, e. tar tarated copper) causes a marked fatty degeneration in the capsules, large droplets of fat appearing.

Fatigue (experimental), e.g., running an animal till it drops, pro duces the same changes.

It would appear that conditions and symptoms associated with fa tigue, asthenia, or marasmus are accompanied by striking degenera tive changes in the adrenal bodies, and that these changes often ap pear early, before they occur in the liver and kidneys.

Dr. Kanthack believes that it follows from Schafer's, and Oliver's experiments that the adrenal bodies contain a tonic substance. With progressive fatty degeneration this substance must cease to be formed, and thus marantic symptoms are apt to arise in any case in which this occurs.

These interesting experiments appears to me to open up some very suggestive lines of thought, and to indicate that further re searches in the same direction will be likely to prove fruitful.