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JAMA 100 Years Ago
February 20, 2013

THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM AND HEAT REGULATION

Author Affiliations
 

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2013;309(7):641. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.174768

There seems at present to be no escape from the conclusion that the temperature regulation of the body is under the dominance of some mechanism connected with the central nervous system. Physiologists are still somewhat divided in their acceptance of the existence of a special cerebral heat-regulating apparatus composed of heat centers and heat nerves. Conservatism in regard to the actual location of a heat center in the brain is assuredly justified; for the evidence of any narrow circumscribed anatomic area devoted to thermoregulatory functions is far from convincing. On the other hand, there can be little hesitation in admitting that in the physiologic sense some coordinating mechanism or “center” controls the various heat-producing and heat-dissipating devices of the body so that the vasomotor responses of the skin, the sweat-secreting glands, the chemical combustion processes in the muscles and the respiratory factors all work in harmony to effect a single result: temperature equilibrium. After destruction of the brain all of this splendid adjustment is lost. Furthermore, in certain diseases of the central nervous system unattended with infectious agents and their toxic products or with muscular manifestations such as convulsions, a rise in temperature is observed. Brain tumors may lead to such symptoms.

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