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October 1958

Current Status of the Funkenstein Test: A Review of the Literature Through December, 1957

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;80(4):488-501. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340100088021

In 1948 Funkenstein, Greenblatt, and Solomon12 reported a relationship between the blood pressure responses to injected epinephrine and methacholine and the clinical course in a group of psychiatric patients. Since this time, numerous reports have appeared concerning the procedures employed by these authors. Great variation exists in the technique of what has become popularly known as the Funkenstein test, and much of the data is contradictory. It is the purpose of this paper to consider the current status of the test with respect to the following factors, as reported in the literature: (1) test procedure and scoring; (2) reproducibility (reliability); (3) relation to psychiatric state, including (a) ability to predict response to psychiatric treatment, and (b) ability to serve as an objective indicator of psychological change; (4) implicit and explicit physiological assumptions, and (5) diverse applications.

I. Procedure and Scoring 

A. Procedure.  —As originally described,12 the test was