Neurasthenia is an old term applied to a long recognized condition whose relations however have only been cleared of obscurity of late years. The older clinicians described it under the term "nervous adynamia," a peculiar condition of the entire organism most obviously improved and benefited by tonics. The nervous system is the first part visibly affected, the heart the second; the contractile heart fails not from want of blood as in anemia, but more directly as from a shock or some toxic influence. The capillary activity seems impaired, the metabolism and nutrition thereby declined, the contractile power of the heart and blood pressure being much diminished. This condition, which is essentially one of exhaustion, finally fixes itself, whatever be the primary cause, on the central nervous system and finds expression in a nervous instability taking the line of least resistance. It has been claimed that the condition is essentially one
KIERNAN JG. INTER-COMPLICATIONS OF NEURASTHENIA. JAMA. 1897;XXIX(12):582–583. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440380024002e
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