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vertigo, animals, brain, experiments and diseases

VERTIGO.--A condition characterised by a seeming defect in the equi librium of the body, and accompanied with more or less severe disturbances of consciousness. This simple condition may be due to a variety of causes. Disturbances in the semicircular canals of the labyrinth of the ear—the organ of equilibrium—may be followed by sensations of dizziness. Anmia and, in some cases, congestion of the brain or parts of the brain, are other causes. The most frequent causes of vertigo are, undoubtedly, digestive disturbances, hunger, or want of sufficiently nourishing food. Certain diseases of the eye may likewise give rise to the affection.

Mental impressions, such as fear of falling from an elevation, are well known causative factors in the production of nervous vertigo. The affection often follows upon changes in the smallest capillaries in the brain (as in consequence of arteriosclerosis), in some diseases of the heart, brain, and nerves, and during convalescence after severe illness. Vertigo is a peculiar accompaniment of Meniere's disease. See DEAFNESS.

Treatment varies according to the cause of the disorder, and it is therefore advisable to consult a physician in time. In cases of vertigo resulting from stomach affections, the first requisite is to empty the stomach of its contents. A powerful emetic will work wonders. Suitable food, and correct regulation of meals, may solve the difficulty in some cases. In cases of vertigo caused by disturbances of the eyes, the oculist must be consulted; in some cases correct glasses will afford immediate relief. Vertigo resulting from anemia of the brain (especially an individual attack of vertigo) is relieved most rapidly and surely by means of Nageli's method as described in the article on HEADACHE.

VIVISECTION.—The dissection of a living animal for purposes of scientific experimentation and observation. To this study is due the vast mass of knowledge of the most important phenomena of life—the circulation of the blood, the function of the nerves, etc., etc. The efficacy of medicines is established by trying them on animals ; and operations may be performed on animals before they are undertaken on human patients. By experiments on animals, knowledge may be obtained about the communicability of certain contagious diseases, and of diseases caused by parasites ; and the theories of prevention and cure are often based on such experiments. A great deal has been learned, but much still remains to be solved ; and so long as this is the case, vivisection will remain an indispensable aid to the investigator. This makes it all the more remarkable that certain people try to abolish vivisection by all means, no matter how objectionable, announcing their aim to be " the preservation of animals from needless torture." Such phrases as " murder for the sake of science," " scientific animal torture," etc., are frequently used by persons who have never seen experiments made on animals, and who have not the slightest idea of the value of these investigations. It will never be possible to convince these fanatics, for they do not wish to be convinced. The impartial person, however, will recognise from the short account here given, that vivisectional experiments are necessary.

Sensitive persons may take comfort in the fact that the animals are usually given an anesthetic before the experiment, so that they feel no pain. The revolt against vivisection is therefore totally groundless.