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December 28, 1940

Mucous Colitis: A Psychological Medical Study of Sixty Cases

JAMA. 1940;115(26):2304-2305. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810520066028

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For years many gastro-enterologists have felt that the term "mucous colitis" is undesirable because in this disease the colon itself is normal and the distress is due only to nervous stimuli arising in a tired or psychopathic brain. Under the circumstances it seems unfortunate that the writers of this valuable little monograph decided to retain the term "colitis." Since the genitive ending itis, which meant originally "disease of a part," has come to mean in both the popular and the medical mind "inflammation," it seems wrong to use it in describing a disease in which the organ involved is not inflamed or ulcerated. The use of the term is particularly unfortunate when there is such a disease as true ulcerative colitis and patients are constantly being confused. They get the idea that they have a serious and fatal disease and naturally become frightened. The remarkable contribution of White, Cobb and

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