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February 1929

THE SUGAR CONTENT OF THE BLOOD IN EMOTIONAL STATES

Author Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and Chief Medical Officer, Boston Psychopathic Hospital; Medical Officer, Boston Psychopathic Hospital BOSTON

Arch NeurPsych. 1929;21(2):342-362. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1929.02210200098008
Abstract

For some time it has been a general opinion that the sugar content of the blood bears a definite relationship to the emotional state. The most important work on this theory is that of Cannon.1 An exhaustive résumé of Cannon's views is unnecessary. Briefly, Cannon has conceived that in acute emotional states, such as fear, anger and rage, there is stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system, an increased secretion of epinephrine due to stimulation of the suprarenal medulla and that, among a number of physiologic effects resulting therefrom, there is a definite increase in the sugar content of the blood. According to Cannon, the reason for this increase of blood sugar is a protective one. In acute states of fear or anger, the organism needs more energy for flight or fight. Therefore, if sugar is mobilized in the blood and made available, this energy is ready for use.

Cannon's

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