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March 28, 1885


JAMA. 1885;IV(13):348-349. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02390880012004

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M. Leven, in a recent communication to the Société de Biologie, insists on the fact that the action of medicinal substances on the digestive tract cannot be explained by a direct action on the mucous membrane and the solar plexus, but that they determine their effect by exciting that plexus. He has been led to adopt this view from clinical as well as physiological observations. Whenever the solar plexus is excited, the mucous membrane of the stomach becomes congested and dyspepsia results; in other words, dyspepsia is the direct result of excitation of the solar plexus.

But is not exhaustion of the cerebro-spinal system or of the solar plexus as frequent and important a factor in the etiology of dyspepsia as excitation? It is universally admitted that mental distress and excitement, great anxiety and physical fatigue constitute frequent causes of dyspepsia. Leven claims that this mental distress and physical prostration

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