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September 28, 1957


JAMA. 1957;165(4):427-430. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980220111029

PAIN  Sir Thomas Lewis once said that pain is the interpretation that the cerebrum gives to certain sensory stimuli. Since then, much work has been done, but even today H. K. Beecher,1 Harvard Medical School, Boston, concludes that "pain cannot be satisfactorily defined, except as every man defines it introspectively for himself." According to the same worker "no convincing demonstration has yet been given that the pain threshold is a constant from man to man, or from one time to another in a given man." It is difficult to measure pain in man and to substantiate the relationship between the pain threshold and the action of analgesic agents. In recent years, many attempts have been made by ardent workers in this field to measure pain and its relief in man quantitatively.In experimental animals, reproducible results have been obtained by various workers. A method that has been widely used

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