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January 1950

STUDIES ON HEADACHE: Distention of the Rectum, Sigmoid Colon and Bladder as a Source of Headache in Intact Human Subjects

Author Affiliations


From the New York Hospital and the Departments of Medicine (Neurology) and Psychiatry, Cornell University Medical College.

Arch NeurPsych. 1950;63(1):52-55. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1950.02310190058003

CONSTIPATION and distention of the bladder are sometimes associated with headache, and Alvarez1 and Donaldson2 reported headache occurring with distention of the rectum with cotton tampons. It is the purpose of this study further to analyze the relation of headache and other effects that may be associated with prolonged distention of the large bowel or bladder.

METHOD  Seven volunteers, with ages ranging from 13 to 54 years, were selected for distention of the large bowel. Daily routine was interrupted only to administer cleansing enemas of saline solution. Approximately two hours after the noon meal a rubber balloon 17 cm. in length attached over a firm rubber tubing of 1 cm. diameter was inserted slowly and painlessly into the rectum. The distance of insertion into the large bowel varied from 20 to 40 cm. Distention of the rectum and sigmoid colon was then produced for one to one and

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