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October 1939

SKIN AND BODY TEMPERATURES OF SCHIZOPHRENIC AND NORMAL SUBJECTS UNDER VARYING ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS

Author Affiliations

WORCESTER, MASS.

From the Research Service of the Worcester State Hospital.

Arch NeurPsych. 1939;42(4):724-734. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1939.02270220140008
Abstract

Investigations of the physiologic concomitants of the schizophrenic psychosis have suggested a certain degree of dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system.1 It has been difficult, however, to obtain unequivocal experimental data by which to determine the matter. Since the autonomic nervous system controls the responsiveness of the thermoregulating mechanisms, it has been attempted in the following series of studies to determine the state of the former through the physiologic reactions of the latter.

There have been reported heretofore no accurate studies under controlled conditions of skin temperature in schizophrenic subjects. It is the general clinical impression that subjects suffering from this psychosis have cold and clammy extremities. Finkelman and Stephens2 reported a greater fall in body temperature in schizophrenic than in nonpsychotic subjects on exposure to cold baths. Gottlieb and Linder3 found a greater increase in body temperature in schizophrenic than in normal persons after exposure to

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