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Since Beard's time, the well-posted physician, whether in the general field or a special line, has recognized neurasthenia "as a legitimate and well circumscribed morbid entity." Our own Dr. C. H. Hughes, of St. Louis, recognized the world over as a high authority upon neurological subjects, in a paper read before the Missouri State Medical Association fully twelve years ago, suggested as a name for the disease, general functional neurotrophia as preferaable to neurasthenia. He expressed the thought at the time that the disease was a more or less general failure of the normal nutrition appropriating power in the higher nerve centers, especially the psychical, leading to consequences short of appreciable structural change—a pure neurotrophia—which is only functional in its effects and confined, in expression, to an altered and lowered functionation in the nervous system itself.
A synonym for the disease is nervous prostration, and the name which Beard himself
I. N. LOVE. NEURASTHENIA.Read before the St. Louis Medical Society, Jan. 20, 1894.. JAMA. 1894;XXII(15):539–544. doi:10.1001/jama.1894.02420940015002b