THE POSSIBLE occurrence of disordered function of the adrenal cortex in patients with mental disease has interested workers in psychiatry for many years. Although no precise formulation of the nature or significance of changes in function of the adrenal cortex in such diseases has been or can be made, recent increases in knowledge of the function of that gland and of the action of steroid hormones have resulted in the accumulation of data bearing on this problem.
Severe hypoglycemia, convulsions induced by drugs or by electric shock, and fever cause changes in blood eosinophil and lymphocyte counts and in the urinary excretion of uric acid in patients with mental diseases, including schizophrenia, showing that the adrenal cortex responds to severe stress.1 In addition, the milder stress of the effect
ALTSCHULE MD, PROMISEL E, PARKHURST BH, GRUNEBAUM H. EFFECTS OF ACTH IN PATIENTS WITH MENTAL DISEASE. AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1950;64(5):641–649. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1950.02310290037004
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