Edited by Jennifer Reiling, Editorial Assistant.
BY T. D. CROTHERS, M. D.
Superintendent of Walnut Lodge Hospital; Editor Journal of Inebriety.
The physiologic action of opium and its alkaloids, with symptomatologies,
is becoming more familiar with the increasing frequency of cases and studies
of many persons. As in other fields of research, there are vast stretches
of unknown lands awaiting discovery, and many new facts in the etiology, progress
and treatment to be seen and described. My purpose is to point out a new phase
in the symptomatology, and describe a condition which has been noticed, but
not defined or studied before. I shall use the term "palsy of the higher psychic
centers" to describe in part this condition. The former personality of the
person is lost, and he acts from a different point of view; his conduct and
thoughts vary widely from former conditions, and he seems to have new purposes
and changing motives, foreign to any previous life. These strange inconsistencies
of conduct and thought come into legal notice, in the question of responsibility
in crime. The apparent cunning, honesty and reasoning are so unusual and foreign
to all theories of mental failures that the expert is unable to detect any
defined insanity, and yet, he can not doubt that some condition of brain disturbance
CRIMINAL MORPHOMANIA.. JAMA. 1999;282(6):590. doi:10.1001/jama.282.6.590