45 J. Crim. L. Criminology & Police Sci. 675 (1954-1955)
Chemical Brew of Criminal Behavior,The

handle is hein.journals/jclc45 and id is 687 raw text is: THE CHEMICAL BREW OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR

EDWARD PODOLSKY
The author is in the private practice of psychiatry, and a member of the psychiatric
staff of Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn. He has published some hundreds of books
besides hundreds of articles in professional and other periodicals. He is a member of the
American Academy of Forensic Sciences, American Psychiatric Association, Associa-
tion for Research in Nervous and Mental Diseases, Corresponding Member of the
Indian Psychiatric Society. His last contribution to this Journal-The Mind of the
Murderer-was published in the present Volume, May-June, 1954.-EiITOR.
The universe, says the physicist, is a problem in geometry.
Human behavior, says the biochemist, is a problem in body chemistry.
The biochemist is a bit too dogmatic in his statement. Not all human behavior is
chemically determined, yet there are some rather interesting instances where chemi-
cal factors are of great importance. Life, in the final analysis, is a series of chemical
reactions: the heart beats because the appropriate chemical stimulants are con-
stantly present in the heart muscle; the brain functions because it has a favorable
internal chemical environment.
The great French physiologist, Claude Bernard, in 1860 stated that there are two
environments for all living beings-a general environment which is the same for
inanimate objects and which surrounds the organism as a whole, and an internal
environment in which the living elements of the body are to be found and which
exert just as profound an influence on the behavior and character of the individual
as does the external environment. Later he spoke of both the plasma and lymph.
Finally, he regarded the internal environment as the totality of the circulating fluids
of the organism. Today the internal environment is regarded as the totality of all
the chemical materials that go into the composition of the body.
It is the fixity of the milieu interieur which is the condition of free and independent
life, Bernard wrote, and all the vital mechanisms, however varied they may be,
have only one object, that of preserving constant the conditions of life in the internal
environment. Bernard listed oxygen, water, temperiture and nutrient materials
(including salts, fats and sugar) as the necessary constants which free the organism
from the limitations set by the external world. Today many more factors are included.
For some years past it has been known that there is an intimate relationship
between the amount of sugar present in the blood and man's social behavior. J.
Wilder has compiled from the literature a list of crimes and other infractions of law
committed either under the influence of insulin or in a state of spontaneous hypo-
glycemia (decrease of normal amount of sugar in the blood). The list includes:
disorderly conduct, assault and battery, attempted suicide and homicide, cruelty
against children and spouse, various sexual perversions and aggressions, false fire
alarms, drunkenness, embezzlement, petty larceny, willful destruction of property,
arson, slander, violation of traffic regulations.
Some problem children and delinquents have been found to have a tendency to
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