For the past year and a half the research division of the Boston State Hospital has been carrying on experiments on the reactions of the organs of the human being to drugs which are specifically factors in the pharmacology of the autonomic nervous system. These experiments have reached the stage where a general paper will make clear the fundamental principles and facts of human autonomic pharmacology.
The older theory of the activity of the bodily functions, so far as these are under the control of the autonomic nervous system, is that a balance exists between the activities of the sympathetic and the parasympathetic division, so that visceral function is a sort of resultant of the balance of these two forces. If one translates the anatomic units of this theory into chemical terms, the activity of any organ involved by autonomic stimulation is the result of a balanced activity between acetylcholine,
MYERSON A. HUMAN AUTONOMIC PHARMACOLOGY: XII. THEORIES AND RESULTS OF AUTONOMIC DRUG ADMINISTRATION. JAMA. 1938;110(2):101–103. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790020015005
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