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Myxine

thyroid, disease, gland, extract, london and patient

MYXINE (from Gk. AtlEa, !bra, mucus). The single genus of the family :\lyxini(he, repre sented by the single species .11 !brine yht inOSII, the hagfish or 'borer' of the North Atlantic Coast. These 4'el-shaped parasitic animals. which bur row into the bodies of fishes, are extraordinary in their reproductive habits. According to Hansen. Myxine is generally or al ways its young stage a male. while at a more ad vanced stage it be comes transformed into a female. The ovary is single. and on the right side. and there are no oviducts. the mature eggs falling into the abdomi nal cavity and being extruded through the peri toneal opening at the side of the vent. The eggs are few and large. and each is inclosed in an oblong horny case. with threads at each end, by which the ( „ adheres to sonic fixed object until it hatehes. See 11.%0FISII.

MYX'CEDEMAINeo-Lat. nom. pl.. from /Alfa, y,ra noels o(anAa, oidFarn. swelling) . A progressive I Ikea:e eharacterized by widespread changes in nutrition and by the invasion of the subentaneons tissues by solid ,isfienia, due to di minished functional activity of the thyroid gland. It Imes been called C(101C.rie pa ch yderm ique (Char cot), cachcxia thyroidea (Kocher), and hydro paresic (Feris). Myxiedenia is caused by de struction of the tissue of the thyroid gland by disease, or as a result of removal of it by opera tion. It occurs principally in women. and is in fact an acquired cretinism in adult life. By far the greater number of cases occur between the ages of thirty-tive and forty-live. In some fami lies there is a distinct inheritance of a predisposi tion to disease of the thyroid gland. The disease occurs most frequently in cold climates, and is perhaps most frequent in Europe. The symptoms of the disease develop gradually, in most cases nearly a year elapsing before the disease becomes distinct. Among the principal symptoms are languor; sensibility to cold ; absence of perspira tion; loss of hair: decay of nails and teeth; pallor; subnormal temperature; hallucinations of sight and hearing, and even actual insanity; ame• miss indigestion: and enlargement of lymphatic glands. The treatment is to feed the patient with

thyroid gland extract or dry thyroid, together with tonics, such as phosphoric acid and iron. Thyroid grafting has proved ellicaeious in many eases. The partial or entire thyroid of an ani mal is transplanted into the peritoneal cavity or into the subcutaneous tissue of the patient, to whom thyroid has been administered for a con siderable time previously to the grafting, as sug gested by Victor Borsley. Treatment by the ad ministration of thyroid extract has been largely employed since it was first used in 1891 by Mur ray of England. The extract is made by macerat ing sheep's thyroids in glycerine. It must be administered with great care, degeneration of the heart or of the great vessels being an indi cation for very small initial dosage. In some pa tients profuse diarrInra results, in others vom iting, sweating, headache, swelling of the glands about the jaw, and prostration. The remedy may be used hypodermically. After the symptoms of the disease have disappeared. the patient must take a small quantity of the thyroid extract at regular intervals as long as she lives. to maintain the improved condition. See CRETINISM. Con sult: Gull, "On a Cretinoid State Supervening in Adult Life in Women." in Clinical Society's Transactions (London, 1874) : Murray. in Brit ish Medical Journal (London, I8911; Virchow, in Berliner klinische IT'ochenschrift (1887) ; llorsley. in Brown Lectures (London, 1884) ; Osler, in American Journal of the Medical Sciences (Philadelphia, 1893) ; Ginilette• (edema and the Thyroid. Gland (London, 1895).