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August 3, 1901


JAMA. 1901;XXXVII(5):330-331. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.02470310036003

"Cardiac neuroses," so-called, have been attributed as a general rule to disturbances in the normal workings of the nervous apparatus of the heart. In this, as in many other instances, the effort at classification has probably gone beyond our actual knowledge of the nature of the processes in question, because it is not yet clear how much of cardiac function depends on the nervous mechanisms, and how much on the muscle cells of the heart. Just at present physiologists are inclined to lay especial stress on the automatism of the muscle cells and to refuse to attach much if any importance to the nervous influences. In a recent paper by L. F. Barker1 this subject is reviewed from the anatomic, physiologic, and pathologic points of view. It is pointed out that the heart has no nerves at all when it begins to beat in the embryo, and that the