Its most effective use, however, is as a nerve tonic in paralysis agitans, locomotor ataxia, impotence and nervous exhaustion.
The alkaloid curarin causes motor paralysis by attacking in a selective way this junction of motor nerve cell and striped muscular fibre.
This can be experimentally shown - by the method of exclusion - to be caused by a paralysis of the terminals of the third cranial nerve in the sphincter pupillae of the iris.
Amongst these, the most important is fever with increased protein metabolism, attended with disturbances of the circulatory and respiratory systems. Nervous symptoms, somnolence, coma, spasms, convulsions and paralysis are of common occurrence.
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) was at one time believed to act simply by cutting off the supply of oxygen to the tissues, but it also has a specific effect in producing paralysis of certain parts of the central nervous system, and hence its value as an anaesthetic; when given in small amounts mixed with air it produces a condition of exhilaration.
Industry was thus in many ways compensated for the paralysis of trade with private buyers in the home market and for the closing of foreign markets, and it would have been able to continue quietly on the old lines but for the emergence of a new factor which fundamentally altered the conditions.
And near the end of 1937, Roosevelt created the National Foundation for Infant Paralysis to join in the fight.
Henceforth the influence of Russia over Poland was steadily to increase, without any struggle at all, the Republic being already stricken with that creeping paralysis which ultimately left her a prey to her neighbours.
That infantile paralysis is an infection, and that its unhappy sequels are now treated with more hope of restoration, has been indicated already.
In all cases there is a longer or shorter period of excitement, followed by intoxication or narcosis, and with large doses this passes into paralysis and death from depression of the respiratory centre or of the heart.