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Eder, M.D. (1935). Alergias Y Anafilaxias: By Dr. Emilio Pizarro Crespo. (Libreria y Editorial Ruiz. Rosario (R.A.). Pp. 109. No price stated.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 16:237.

(1935). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 16:237

Alergias Y Anafilaxias: By Dr. Emilio Pizarro Crespo. (Libreria y Editorial Ruiz. Rosario (R.A.). Pp. 109. No price stated.)

Review by:
M. D. Eder

The general opinion of pathologists in this country, as voiced, for example, by Bray, is that psychogenic factors promote responses only in a person who is primarily allergic. This hypersensitiveness of the body cells to one or more specific proteins resulting in the various allergic symptoms is thus assumed to be an elemental physical condition specific to certain individuals. Crespo summarizes (1) the evidence which has led to this confession of ignorance, and (2) the views as to the intimate relationship between allergic phenomena and changes in the endocrine glands and the vegetative nervous system. He concludes that these latter hypotheses contain something valid which consists really in their relationship to the unconscious mental system. Allergic conditions are thus primarily psychogenic in origin, expressing themselves by means of the sympathetic nervous system and the endocrine glands.

This theory he seeks to establish by a brief account of twenty clinical cases showing various allergic conditions—digestive, respiratory, dermal—submitted to psycho-analytical investigation. None of the cases was submitted to a complete analysis; the psychological and sexual history is given including in many cases the dreams. Some patients were seen two or three times only, others more frequently—the longest was under treatment for six months.

No claim is made for the cure of most of these cases, but it is submitted that these brief analyses show that allergic symptoms are mainly symbolical expressions of unconscious mental mechanisms.

It cannot be said that the author has proved this theory in most of the cases, the evidence is too scanty, but at all events he has given indications of the lines upon which proof may be found. The biological point of view from which Crespo sets out will be certain of a sympathetic appeal to the physicians of the present day and psycho-analysts will look forward with interest to the larger work he promises shortly: 'The biology and psychology of the instincts from the psycho-analytic standpoint.'

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