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EMOTIONAL FACTORS IN ORGANIC DISEASE OF THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM
GEORGE WILSON; CHARLES RUPP; HARVEY BARTLE, JR.
Am J Psychiatry 1943;99:788-792.
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The Neurologic and Psychiatric Services of the Philadelphia General Hospital, Philadelphia, Pa.

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Abstract

A series of cases of diverse organic diseases of the central nervous system such as chronic encephalitis with Parkinsonism, multiple sclerosis, pseudo-sclerosis, dystonia musculorum deformans, and brain tumor is presented. In these cases, the initial symptoms became manifest either during or immediately subsequent to some severe emotional disturbance or psychic trauma and the objective neurologic signs were at first minimal. As a result, the symptoms were attributed to emotional causes and only later after the objective neurologic signs had progressed was the correct diagnosis established.The possible role of the emotional disturbances as an etiological factor in the production of the structural changes is discussed. It is suggested that the emotional trauma precipitates both physiologic and psychologic alterations which lead to the appearance of objective neurologic signs.

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