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April 1937

PSYCHIC PHENOMENA IN ASSOCIATION WITH CARDIAC FAILURE

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK

From the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Hospital.

Arch NeurPsych. 1937;37(4):782-795. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1937.02260160082009
Abstract

In an article on psychic disturbances in association with visceral diseases, which has remained a classic from the descriptive standpoint, Henry Head, more than thirty years ago, made the assertion:

We are all conscious that our mental well-being is dependent on the right activity of our internal organs, and daily experience shows that grave mental disturbances may arise in connection with visceral disease.

In the organization of the body complexus there are, phylogenetically and ontogenetically, two great integrating systems of organs: the brain and the heart, with their extensions. While several other organs of the body are in key positions as far as vital capacity is concerned, the biologic functioning of the organism in the aggregate depends constantly on the integrity of these two great systems. If it is true, as is now believed in psychobiology, that the mind represents the total activity of the organism, one would expect to

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