His theory of medicine professed to explain the processes of life and disease, and the methods of cure, upon one simple principle - that of the property of" excitability,"in virtue of which the" exciting powers,"defined as being (1) external forces and (2) the functions of the system itself, call forth the vital phenomena" sense, motion, mental function and passion."All exciting powers are stimulant, the apparent debilitating or sedative effect of some being due to a deficiency in the degree of stimulus; so that the final conclusion is that" the whole phenomena of life, health as well as disease, consist in stimulus and nothing else."Brown recognized some diseases as sthenic, others as asthenic, the latter requiring stimulating treatment, the former the reverse; but his practical conclusion was that 97% of all diseases required a" stimulating "treatment.
But it must be remembered that these conclusions are arrived at by confusing action, reaction, life, excitability, impulse, and rational desire, all under the one word " will," as well as by omitting the involuntary action of intelligence under the pressure of evidence.
There appears also to be a specific action of lowering the reflex excitability of the spinal cord.
Sleep is not exhaustion of the neuron in the sense that prolonged activity has reduced its excitability to zero.
If natural sleep is the expression of a phase of decreased excitability due to the setting in of a tide of anabolism in the cells of the nervous system, what is the action of narcotics ?
How would you define excitability? Add your definition here.