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December 1963

Study of the Galvanic Skin Response in Cystic Fibrosis

Author Affiliations


Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles and Medical Service, Veterans Administration Center, General Medical and Surgical Service Hospital (Drs. Perry and Wright); Departments of Psychology and Engineering, University of California at Los Angeles (Dr. Mount).

Arch Dermatol. 1963;88(6):742-744. doi:10.1001/archderm.1963.01590240066012


In recent years standardization experiments with the galvanic skin response (GSR) have shown a correlation with drug stimulation or suppression of sweat glands.1-5 When sweat-stimulating drugs were used, the skin resistance was lowered and the GSR level rose. Contrarily, when these glands were suppressed by sweat-inhibiting compounds, the resistance was increased and the GSR level fell. These results have been repeatedly observed in normal subjects under varying experimental conditions. The observations suggest the possibility that the GSR level might be effected by abnormal changes in sweat electrolytes. Cystic fibrosis is a disease which is characterized by increased sweat electrolyte concentration.6-8 Therefore, the present study was undertaken to examine the relationship in a series of cystic fibrosis patients.

Materials and Methods

The experimental series consisted of 12 cystic fibrosis patients and 22 controls. The 12 cystic fibrosis subjects varied from 1-16 in age (average 9.5) including five males

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