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Article
October 31, 1959

EMOTION AND GASTRIC ACTIVITY

Author Affiliations

Long Beach, Calif.

Staff Psychologist, Veterans Administration Hospital, and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology, University of California at Los Angeles (Dr. Seymour); Chief, Surgical Service, Veterans Administration Hospital, and Clinical Professor of Surgery, University of California at Los Angeles Medical School (Dr. Weinberg).

JAMA. 1959;171(9):1193-1195. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010270029007
Abstract

The emotional responses of 24 men were observed before and after vagotomy for duodenal ulcers. The surgical treatment was necessitated by hemorrhage, intractable pain, obstruction, or combinations of these conditions. The observations included fluoroscopy, roentgenograms, and determinations of the acidity and volume of gastric juice. Emotions were aroused by stressful interviews which proceeded with minimum delay to the patient's personal problems. These interviews elicited the same overt signs of psychological distress after the operation as they had before, but they no longer caused the increases of gastric secretion and motility seen in subjects with intact vagi. Since vagotomy was followed by healing of the ulcer in every instance, these findings strengthen the conviction that emotional influences play a role in the causation of duodenal ulcer.

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