How to treat tremor

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Abstract.This paper presents an example of 18th century medical thinking. The author, Dr Georg Ernst Stahl (1659-1734) was the founder of the phlogiston theory in the field of chemistry, a medical professor, and a court physician in Saxony and Prussia. His description includes a definition of tremor, the internal and external causes of tremor, the types of tremor, the diagnostic and prognostic signs, and the treatment. From a present (contemporary) point of view, some compounds that were then used in treatment may have had a limited therapeutic effect on some kinds of tremor. Protopin has an anticholinergic and GABA-ergic effect, and rhoeadin (tetrahydrobenzazepin) may have had an effect similar to that of neuroleptics. Nevertheless, it is not clear whether the recommended quantity of these compounds was sufficient for a clinical effect. Most of the prescribed drugs could only have had a placebo effect.

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