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May 9, 1914


JAMA. 1914;LXII(19):1478. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02560440034014

The idea that certain mental diseases are associated with a disturbed metabolism of the central nervous system is not a new one. The reason for the absence of comprehensive data from which it might be possible to formulate some tenable hypothesis is not difficult to ascertain. Like other tissues and organs of the body the nervous system doubtless manifests the result of its physiologic activities by the production of certain products of waste and by undergoing certain alterations in composition which must speedily be repaired, if the parts are to continue to function normally. The total mass of the nervous tissues is so small in comparison with that of the metabolic rivals of these tissues, the muscles and glands, that there is little hope at present of detecting the specific contribution of the nervous elements to the total waste of the organism unless it differ from the usual excretory products

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