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April 1961

Methacholine and Noradrenaline Tests: Their Reliability and Physiological Significance

Author Affiliations


Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(4):371-380. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710100051006

Since it is generally recognized that changes in the emotional state are accompanied by alterations in autonomic functions, and since emotion plays a decisive part in influencing cortical processes in the normal person and in the mental patient, attempts have been made frequently to utilize measurements of autonomic functions for the study of mental disorders.1-4 The value of such tests for clinical studies depends (1) on their reproducibility in the same patient if presumably no changes have occurred in the clinical state; (2) on the understanding of the physiological nature of the response which is being studied. These 2 aspects of the problem were investigated on a larger number of patients on the basis of tests involving the injection of methacholine* and noradrenaline. The evaluation of the records and the interpretation of the findings were guided by the principles which were disclosed by

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