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July 1971

A Subtle Organic Component in Some Cases of Mental Illness: A Preliminary Report of Cases

Author Affiliations

San Francisco
From the Department of Mental Hygiene, Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute; the Department of Psychiatry, University of California School of Medicine; and the General Clinical Research Center, San Francisco (Dr. Weiss); and the Pediatric and Immunology Clinic, Children's Hospital, San Francisco (Dr. Kaufman).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;25(1):74-78. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750130076009

A syndrome is described which is found in individuals who have a family history of allergic symptoms and who also have a family history of a carbohydrate-related metabolic disease. It is characterized by certain mental symptoms which appear in part to be due to the effect of unknown intermediate metabolites of certain foods—producing a subtle organic component—and often is accompanied by physical symptoms which may simulate allergy. The characteristic mental state is one consisting of motor hyperactivity, affective lability and intensity, and certain cognitive defects, with corresponding ego-control defects. There is a vulnerability to sudden regressive shifts in all functions, probably physiologically determined.

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