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April 17, 1948


Author Affiliations

New Orleans

From the Department of Medicine, Tulane University School of Medicine, and the Charity Hospital, New Orleans.

JAMA. 1948;136(16):1011-1017. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890330001001

Bodily functions have been known for many years to be disturbed by emotional stress. These physiologic disturbances may be manifested as symptoms referable to any organ system; e. g., the gastrointestinal tract, the genitourinary tract and the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. For unknown reasons there is a tendency for one system to predominate in its disturbances. Many isolated observations of these reactions have been described. Beaumont1 described interesting observations concerned with formation of gastric juice. Although most of Pavlov's studies were concerned with conditional reflexes, many were related to disturbed psychic states. Cannon2 conducted objective studies of gastrointestinal disturbances produced by psychic changes. Wolff and Wolf and their associates3 observed directly the effect of psychic disturbances on the vascularity of the mucosa of the stomach and changes in secretion in the stomach and duodenum associated with emotional upsets. The effect of emotional stress on respiration has been

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