The idea has long been current that disturbances of metabolism occur in certain mental disorders. Theories of an intoxication, probably endogenous, have often been advanced. Until recently the chemical methods available for clinical application did not afford sufficient evidence to indicate the extent or nature of such disturbances, and there was little to indicate what structures or functions might be involved. The more improved methods of clinical chemistry and the increasing evidence that the ductless glands are involved in many disturbances of growth and metabolism have recently caused a greatly increased interest and activity in the study of such disturbances in patients with mental disease. As a result, there is now some evidence and considerable opinion that disorders of the ductless glands and changes in metabolism may occur in certain psychopathic conditions and psychotic reactions.
Variations in the basal metabolic rate have been found to occur in clinical conditions involving