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January 25, 1919


Author Affiliations

Assistant Surgeon (Lieutenant, Junior Grade), U. S. N. R. F.; instructor in Neuropathology, Medical School of Harvard University BOSTON

From the Psychopathic Hospital, series of 1918.

JAMA. 1919;72(4):235-241. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610040001001

Sir William Osler1 succinctly remarks that apparently "almost every form of disease of the nervous system may follow influenza." This postulate is seemingly quite justified by the accretion of neurophychiatric data from cases in the recent pandemic. The frequency of mental disturbances accompanying the acute illness in the epidemic has been the subject of frequent comment, and the wave of psychiatric material that followed in its wake was unexpectedly large and correspondingly interesting.

The literature on the mental diseases associated with influenza is remarkable for its paucity and the inadequacy of the communications, and this well applies to toxic psychoses in general. Bonhoeffer,2 considered authoritative on the subject, ascribed this in a measure to the fact that "for the most part communications concerning the psychoses accompanying or following infectious disease proceed from the pens of others than psychiatrists.... A practical knowledge of the frequency and nature of the

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