During a summer vacation one of us (R. G. H.) observed that a fat, lazy, overfed dog, after having been lost for three days, returned thinner, brighter and more alert and active in every way. At this time A. J. Carlson in his work on the physiology of hunger suggested that gastric contractions were associated with some increase in general nervous irritability. Zybell's1 clinical studies on spasmophilia also have a bearing on this subject. He concluded that any prolonged hunger aggravates the condition. He cast doubt on the idea that spasmophilia might be attributed to any specific element in the milk mixture, as the whey, the carbohydrate, or the starch additions, and demonstrated that independent of the nature of the food, a period of hunger prolonged over a few hours made the child decidedly worse. Indeed, he went even farther by showing that in spasmophilia the electrical reactions vary
GERSTLEY JR, HOSKINS RG. A STUDY OF THE EFFECT OF HUNGER ON NERVOUS IRRITABILITY. Am J Dis Child. 1918;XV(5):336–338. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1918.04110230025003
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