This study investigates the incidence of constipation in two representative mental institutions, and the effect, in one of the hospitals, of restricting the use of laxatives to only one drug, namely, standardized senna (Senokot). The remarkable potentiality of Senokot for long-term re-educative programmes is reflected in the reduction from 44% of 210 patients receiving various laxatives regularly at the start of the trial to 8% after three months' treatment. The special studies showed that chronic psychotics could be freed from enemas and a substantial number (17 out of 24) cured of constipation; 31 patients on insulin therapy required maintenance doses during treatment but all were subsequently cured; of 25 patients with various neurological lesions, 21 were freed of laxative treatment with four only remaining on sub-laxative doses.
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