The weight of the brain, the largest component of the central nervous system, comprises less than 2 per cent. of the weight of the entire body. For this reason, perhaps, it is scarcely to be expected that ordinary chemical changes in the nervous tissues would reveal themselves readily in the midst of the preponderatingly greater metabolism which is associated with the abundant muscular and glandular structures of the body. Careful examinations of the excreta and measurements of the respiratory exchange have accordingly failed, as a rule, to give any significant indications of alterations in the brain or spinal cord which can be associated with definite functional or pathologic changes. To obtain evidence of upsets in the central nervous system it has become customary, therefore, to depend on special physiologic tests, for the opportunity to make a direct inspection of the nervous tissues and to investigate possible changes in their cells
THE NERVOUS SYSTEM IN RELATION TO DIET AND DISEASE. JAMA. 1916;LXVII(3):204–205. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02590030046014
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