The conception of a disfunctionating thyroid being a causative factor in insanity is based on the highly interesting theory of internal secretion and that of autointoxication. As early as 1730, Haller mentions that Ruysch advanced the supposition that the "blood-vessel glands" manufactured some substance that was thrown into the blood-stream. The term "internal secretion" is said to have been used first by Claude Bernard.No particular interest was manifested in this supposed glandular internal secretive process until Brown-Séquard,1 in 1899, began experiments on himself with testicular extract. He finally concluded that all tissues gave an internal secretion, characteristic of its source. This idea, has, however, been discredited by the subsequent work of others, and it is now fairly well established that this process is in the main, characteristic of glandular organs, and not only of the ductless ones, but of the typical glands as well, as, for example,
WERELIUS A, RYDIN CG. GOITER AMONG THE INSANE: A STUDY BASED ON AN EXAMINATION OF 4,184 PATIENTS. JAMA. 1911;LVII(6):449–452. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.04260080013005
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