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April 1959

Gastrointestinal Function and Mood Alterations: Intestinal Absorption in Mood Disorders

Author Affiliations

Durham, N. C.

From the Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, Veterans Administration Hospital and Duke University School of Medicine, and the Radioisotope Laboratory, Veterans Administration Hospital.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1959;81(4):509-512. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1959.02340160107015

Gastrointestinal symptomatology and function in mood disorders have long1 been of interest to both the psychiatrist and the internist. The findings of Henry2 that gastrointestinal motility is retarded in depression and accelerated in an elation of mood have generally been accepted.3 Gastric motility and secretion have been reported to be altered during acute emotional situations.4 Other reports have been contradictory.5,6 These differences may have been due to a difference between an acute emotional state and a sustained one, as suggested by Farr.5 Objective or measurable methods of rating the mood states and changes have generally been lacking.

Available methods of measuring absorption have limited investigators in studying this function in normal as well as pathological mood states. Gildea et al.7 contrasted oral glucose tolerance curves with intravenous curves of glucose utilization in manic-depressive patients and interpreted differences as indicating that the absorption of