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January 1961

Studies of Salivation in Depression: A Comparison of Salivation Rates in Depressed, Schizoaffective Depressed, Nondepressed Hospitalized Patients, and in Normal Controls

Author Affiliations

Massachusetts Mental Health Center and Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(1):10-15. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710070012002

Physiologists and psychiatrists have recognized for a long time that changes in body function frequently accompany changes in psychological state.1 For instance, symptoms referable to possible physiological hypofunction of the autonomic nervous system are often associated with depressive affect. Sexual impotence, decreased sexual desire in females, constipation, and dry mouth have been cited as somatic complaints by depressed patients.2 In addition, gastrointestinal hypotonus and hypomotility have been shown to accompany depression.3 Most frequently seen in the endogenous depressions,4,5 somatic disturbance has also been associated with other diagnostic categories where depression is the predominate affect. Though somatic symptoms are frequently reported, it is often difficult to determine whether they represent true perceptions of an altered physiology or morbid anxiety about normal body function.6,7

Systematic study of the physiology of salivation in patients with mood disorders began with the pioneering work

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