Psychophysiologic Aspects of Multiple Personality Disorder, A Review


p. 047-053Multiple personality disorder has been associated with marked psychophysiologic alterations ever since careful clinical observations have been made on this perplexing disorder. Physical symptoms known to be associated with multiple personality include headaches, conversion symptoms, changes in voice, seizure-like activity, unexplained pain or insensitivity to pain, alterations in handedness or handwriting style, palpitations, alterations in respiration, gastrointestinal disturbances including bulimia and anorexia, menstrual irregularities, sexual dysfunction, and dermatological conditions including unusual allergic response s and differential responses to medication. Early scientific studies on the galvanic skin response in multiple personality disorder were conducted by Prince in the early twentieth century. Since 1970 there has been a resurgence of interest in multiple personality disorder including sophisticated studies of physical symptoms, brain-wave activity, visual evoked potential, regional cerebral blood flow, visual refraction, muscle activity, cardiac and respiratory activity, galvanic skin response, and the switch process. In addition to describing these studies, the etiology of multiple personality disorder and future directions in research will be discussed

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