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Adrenocortical and Autonomic Reactivity in Schizophrenia

LOUIS J. POIRIER, MD, PhD; CLAUDE L. RICHER, MD, MSc; MARCEL BERTHIAUME, MD; GASTON GRAVEL, MD; RITA BEAULNES, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;8(6):605-613. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720120079011.
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Introduction  As pointed out by Gellhorn1 and Geller et al2 quite different conclusions concerning the degree of responsivity of several neurovegetative mechanisms in chronic schizophrenic patients have been reached by various investigators. This is largely due to the use by various workers of different stimuli and/or different parameters to initiate and measure, respectively, reactivity. In the light of more recent studies,2-5 however, it becomes more firmly established that, in general, the peripheral mechanisms such as those which control adrenergic, cholinergic, and adrenocortical activities are unimpaired and respond quite normally to direct stimulation in chronic schizophrenic patients, as previously suggested by Gellhorn.1 Thus it seems, presently, that the responsible cause for the impairment of responsivity in schizophrenic patients must be searched for at the level of the higher nervous centers which would either abnormally perceive the incoming stimuli and/or abnormally react

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