I have the honor to discuss before this distinguished meeting certain research work which has led to establishing the fact that the sympathetic nervous system has trophic functions. This system is often called the vegetative nervous system and that term implies a trophic influence. Modern experimental medicine has denied the existence of trophic nerves mainly on the basis that, when a denervated tissue is protected against outer harmful stimulations, all symptoms of injury are abolished. The contention that the desensitization of, for instance the cornea, was the cause of the ulcerations observed, was correct; but just the protection of the eye on the other side removed the possibility of tracing trophic nervous influence.
The first experiments that my associates and I conducted in the Physiologic Institute at Berne concerned the influence of the sympathetic nerves on voluntary muscles. We were able to show that, when a state of fatigue had
ASHER L. TROPHIC FUNCTION OF THE SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM: CLINICAL LECTURE AT KANSAS CITY SESSION. JAMA. 1937;108(9):720–721. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.92780090004010
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