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The New York Times January 16, 1932
Sodium Rhodanate Said to "Wash" Brain and Nervous System in Six Days.
by The Associated Press.

Ithaca, N.Y., Jan. 15--- Complete breaking of the morphine habit in six days by a treatment new to medicine was reported today at Cornell University. The narcotic patient was apparently cured with little discomfort.

The treatment is the administration of a compound designed to wash the brain and nervous system clean of the "habit."

This habit, under the Cornell interpretation, is a thickening of proteins in brain cells, a condition which persists after the narcotic is stopped and which accounts for the continuance of the craving. The new antidote, sodium rhodanate, thins the thickened proteins.

The hospital story of this case is to appear in the January number of the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It is told by Drs. Wilder D. Bancroft and Robert S. Gutsell and John E. Rutzler Jr.

It records the first application to a human being suffering from narcotic habit of discoveries at Cornell about a year ago that anesthesia, unconsciousness from a blow on the head, insanity, alcoholic intoxication and narcotic habits all have a similar physical basis, a change in the brain proteins. This research was done with the aid of the Heckscher Foundation for the Advancement of Science.

The morphine patient was a male nurse, an addict for sixteen years. Cures had been attempted six times previously and he had been recorded as a "mean case." The treatment consisting in reducing him in six days from twelve grains of morphine daily to none, and substituting, sodium rhodanate for morphine cuts.

Narcotic reduction began on his third day in Ithaca memorial Hospital. The record as given to the National Academy reads:

"Fourth Day--- Appetite improved. Neither nervous nor apprehensive.

"Fifth Day--- More composed, somewhat less talkative and apparently normal, mentally and physically.

"Sixth Day--- He boasted that previously he had been able always to tell within one-eighth grain how much his morphine had been reduced. This time he invariably guessed 100 per cent or more too high."

On the ninth day the patient was "depressed for the last time," and on the tenth day "completely relaxed and comfortable." He has had no desire for morphine since Dec. 9. The treatment was first tried on dogs.

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