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February 1959

Water-Loading Test in Mental Diseases

Author Affiliations

Sepulveda, Calif.

From the Department of Psychiatry, Veterans Administration Hospital, Omaha.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1959;81(2):216-218. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1959.02340140082011

Water metabolism in mental diseases is an interesting problem. Earlier findings have been summarized by Altschule1 in 1953. He recalled the widely divergent factors complicating this matter. Emotional experiences have a profound influence on water metabolism.2 Both emotional and physical stimuli can inhibit diuresis by releasing antidiuretic hormone.3,4 The Worcester group has described abnormalities of the water metabolism in schizophrenia. According to their findings,5 the urinary excretion of water is increased in the resting and fasting schizophrenic. For some time now the role of the hypothalamus in mental diseases has aroused the interest of the profession.6 Unfortunately, the activity of many hypothalamic centers defies quantitative measurement. It is in this connection that here an effort has been made to follow the activity of organs involved in water diuresis in mental diseases. In spite of complicating factors, here is something that can be measured and weighed.