For some years past, the author has interested himself in the study of the pulse among the patients under his care at the asylum of St. Hans, in Denmark. It is a point to which he does not think that alienists pay sufficient attention, since the variations of pulse frequency are extremely great in many cases, especially when associated with states of fear and anxiety, and valuable indications of the mental condition may thus be obtained. Vogt carried on a preliminary series of observations to test objectively the susceptibility to fright of patients by noting the increase of pulse frequency on hearing a sudden noise (hand clapping), and found that in states of anxiety it was sometimes raised from 70 or 80 to 120 or 126. He has also studied the mental conditions associated with abnormally high pulse frequency. In the case of one very irritable female patient the pulse rose to 216; at this pulse-rate the patient's language was always threatening and obscene. It is remarked that coarse and abusive language tends to be associated with a pulse-rate over 150. There is generally motor unrest, but this is not an invariable accompaniment of high pulse-rate. In a paranoid dement lying peacefully in bed, the pulse would be between 80 and 110, and when attention was drawn to his morbid ideas, although he continued to lie quietly, amusing himself by making a few contemptuous remarks, it rose to 180.
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