Research Article| Volume 15, ISSUE 2, P142-150, November 1929

Studies in the alimentary tract of man

V. Disturbances of central origin in gastric responses
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      • 1.
        1. The differences found between the gastric reaction patterns of Freshmen students examined for the first time and those of well trained and cooperative Sophomore students point to the presence of a disturbing factor of central nervous origin which is being minimized as the student progresses in his medical curriculum.
      • 2.
        2. The effect of this factor is two-fold, namely, in a relaxation of the length phase of gastric smooth muscle known as hypotony and in inhibition of peristalsis.
      • 3.
        3. Both effects may be present or one only occur, depending upon the various complicating and modifying conditions encountered.
      • 4.
        4. Such central disturbances may be divided into three categories:
        • 4.1.
          A. The purely temporary effect of mental shock.
        • 4.2.
          B. The more prolonged results of mental distress.
        • 4.3.
          C. The long sustained modification of behavior pattern by mental strain.
      • 5.
        5. In mental shock there is an inhibition of peristalsis of evanescent character and a “lowering of gastric tone” which is of greater duration, depending upon the character of the stimulus.
      • 6.
        6. In mental distress there may be lowering of tone or inhibition of peristalsis but if the latter be present it is of such fixity that it cannot be removed by the stimulus of buttermilk (or lactic acid).
      • 7.
        7. In mental strain we do not expect inhibition of peristalsis but find a quite definite change in length-phase (lowering of tone). It is this phenomenon which makes itself apparent in the October Freshman.
      • 8.
        8. The very nature of these interferences in behavior pattern makes it certain that they would not be encountered in their simple forms if the experiments were planned ahead.
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