This section is from the book "A Treatise On Therapeutics, And Pharmacology Or Materia Medica Vol1", by George B. Wood. Also available from Amazon: Part 1 and Part 2.
This form of palsy is scarcely a proper subject, under any circumstances, for the application of electricity, which is contraindicated by the existing and increasing cerebral lesion. It may. however, sometimes be important not to mistake for it some other form of palsy which may be benefited by this agent. The fact that this variety is always attended with unimpaired electro-muscular contractility may sometimes serve to distinguish it from cases of general palsy, of another origin, in which this property may be wanting, and which may he amenable in some degree to the remedy.
So as to reach all the fibres, of which some may have at first escaped its influence. Whenever the palsy depends on tumefaction of the nerve sheaths, whether proceeding from inflammation of the bones, joints, or viscera, or from injury to the nerve itself, as by cold, violent stretching, etc., the indication is to bring the constant current to bear on the swollen nerve; and the lost contractility will in time be restored, even in the most inveterate cases. Not only paralysis from this source, but morbid contractions of the muscles, and even hyperaesthesia, which may have a similar origin, will yield to the same measure. These affections are very apt to occur in the lower extremities, and especially in the regions of the crural and sciatic nerves; and the most obstinate forms of sciatica sometimes have their origin in this cause.
I have not space for the further observations of Dr. Remak; and this is of the less importance, as they are so mingled with hypothetical views, and presented in so fragmentary a form, as very much to lessen their value; but in what precedes I have endeavoured to do justice to the claims he puts forth for galvanization as distinguished from faradisation as a therapeutic agent, which, in the statements made in the text, might perhaps be considered as somewhat undervalued. (Note to the third edition).