Ecology of Nutritional Deficiency Diseases

Attention to communicable diseases may tend to mask the prevalence of a great variety of diseases that are the result of undernutrition as well as malnutrition. With a very large number of people living in extreme poverty in South Asia, dietary deficiencies are to be expected. Although diseases of poverty do not constitute a special category in the official International List of Disease Classification, the international medical community is increasingly cognizant of such a class (Prost 1988)....

Hepatitis A Etiology

Hepatitis A is caused by an RNA virus 27 nanometers in diameter. It is very similar to poliovirus in general structure and also in its ability to spread through fecal contamination of food and water. The virus is very fastidious in its host range. It is known to infect only humans, apes, and marmosets, and it replicates in vitro only in a few primate cell lines. The virus of hepatitis A is essentially worldwide in its distribution, but it is very much commoner where drinking water is unsafe and...

Nutritional Chemistry

The idea that diet is an important factor in health is a very old one and, if anything, had greater prominence in the time of Hippocrates than it does now. However, the development of a workable system or science of nutrition had to await the development of modern chemistry with its significant advances at the end of the eighteenth century. Before that time, the purpose of nutrition in adults was assumed to be the replacement of abraded (or worn-out) tissues. Meat, the tissues of other animals,...

Famine and Infectious Disease

General starvation increases susceptibility to numerous pathogens. Conversely, infection accelerates the course of general starvation. This process is enhanced as declining health and increased mortality add to social disorder, creating greater impediments to the acquisition of food, increased undernutrition, and conditions ripe for the spread of disease. This vicious circle can originate on the side of either pathogenic illness or undernutrition. Epidemic disease has the potential for ushering...

Islamic and Indian Medicine

Islamic and Indian medicine originated in distinct cultural traditions but have been in close contact for many centuries. The terms Islamic and Indian as they refer to medicine do not describe static, idealized, or monolithic systems that can be categorized by referring to the medical texts of a distant golden age. Medical practices in Islamic and Indian cultures were, as elsewhere, eclectic and pluralistic, evolving in response to complex influences that varied according to time and place....

Syphilis

Syphilis presents us with a new disease, or what was believed to be a new disease when it first appeared in Muslim societies, beginning in the late fifteenth century. Syphilis and other European diseases were introduced into the Middle East in the early modern period by Europeans, who also brought their own methods of treatment. Western medicine was disseminated by missionaries and merchants, travelers, and consular doctors. Before the era of translating Western medical textbooks into oriental...

Clinical Manifestations and Pathology

In anorexia nervosa, normal dieting escalates into a preoccupation with being thin, profound changes in eating patterns, and a weight loss of at least 25 percent of the original body weight. Weight loss is usually accomplished by a severe restriction of caloric intake, with patients subsisting on fewer than 600 calories per day. Contemporary anorectics may couple fasting with self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives and diuretics, and strenuous exercise. The most consistent medical consequences...

Cancer

The term cancer derives from the Latin cancer, which in turn derives from the Greek xaexi uoco both originally meaning a crab. Other medical terms used in classical antiquity derive from the same root. These terms, however, do not necessarily mean or refer to a neoplastic growth or malignant lesion. There is some evidence, in fact, that ulcers and lesions associated with other diseases (e.g., erysipelas and gangrene) were not always distinguished from malignancies. As a medical term, xaexiuoco...

Early Treatment

Goiter of itself is not particularly harmful unless it grows to compress the trachea or causes emotional upset. But when therapy for a large goiter was required, the only solution until the twentieth century was to remove it, or at least part of it, surgically. The problem was that surgery commonly killed the patient, and some surgeons said that such an operation should simply not be done. Others persisted, and by the 1880s were able to remove all or most of a goitrous thyroid with death rates...

Infectious Diseases Smallpox

Among the acute infectious diseases that can be clearly identified from the sources, smallpox emerges as the major killer and the most common cause of premature death. Certainly, more medical books were written about this illness than any other. An old disease in Japan, smallpox was endemic in the large cities well before 1600, and by the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, epidemics struck even remote parts of Japan every 3 or 4 years. Smallpox was almost entirely an illness of...

Ulcerative Colitis and Crohns Disease General Aspects

Epidemiology, Distribution, and Incidence Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease share similar epidemiological and demographic features. The incidence of ulcerative colitis, still considerable, apparently has stabilized or possibly diminished in many areas of the world, with several exceptions (Norway, Japan, Faroe Islands, northeast Scotland). Ulcerative colitis appears to be more prevalent in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, the United States, and northern Europe. It is less...

Prevention and Control

The medical profession, grappling with the great pandemic, labored under three major disadvantages First, in the 1890s one of the premier bacteriologists of the world, Richard F. J. Pfeiffer, thought he had discovered the causative organism, common in his time and again in the fall of 1918. Unfortunately, Pfeiffer's bacillus was not the cause, although it doubtlessly played a role in many secondary infections. Its chief significance is probably that it inveigled many scientists into wasting a...

Concepts of Addiction The US Experience

Addiction has remained a vague concept in spite of efforts to define it with physiological and psychological precision. The word's Latin root refers to a legal judgment whereby a person is given over to the control of another. In recent centuries the meaning has ranged from a simple inclination toward an activity or interest to an uncontrollable desire to take opium, which historically was viewed as the most addictive of drugs. Opiate addiction is characterized chiefly by the repeated use of...

Diseases in the 1940s

Epidemic and endemic diseases were carefully monitored by the U.S. Army Military Government after World War II. Among the communicable diseases reported in 1946 and 1947 were typhus, smallpox, relapsing fever, cholera, meningitis, encephalitis, malaria, diphtheria, typhoid, and bacillary dysentery. The Institute for the Prevention of Infectious Diseases stocked and dispensed diagnostic tests and vaccines for many of these as well as other diseases. Although there were no cases of human plague...

Disease in the Premodern Period

As noted earlier, from around the beginning of the sixteenth century, a marked economic and social development occurred in most Southeast Asian states. The development of the region had significant effects in relation to disease. These included changes in the types of disease suffered by Southeast Asians, their susceptibility, and the ways in which they viewed and treated disease. One important feature of this period was the large-scale intervention of the state in the control and prevention of...

History and Geography

The early history of rubella is confused with that of other illnesses that produce a rash such as measles and smallpox. Although it has been suggested that the early Arabian physicians differentiated rubella as a form of measles known as Hhamikah, the disease appears to have been first described in 1619 by Daniel Sennert, who used the term Rotheln (roteln) and attributed the name, which seems to have been a popular term, to the red color of the rash. Two German physicians are generally credited...

Opportunistic and Iatrogenic Infections

To categorize some fungal infections as opportunistic is convenient, if artificial. Most fungi pathogenic for humans, even those causing such significant mycoses as coccidioidomycosis and histoplasmosis, seem to have some natural habitat in the environment and infect humans only incidentally. Candida infections are different in that they are endogenous, and some types of ringworm are also to some extent opportunistic. The mycoses to be considered next include examples of infection resulting...

Tuberculosis and Other Respiratory Diseases

During the Yi Dynasty, medical knowledge of tuberculosis became more abundant and precise. The Hyangyak chipsong pang describes pulmonary tuberculosis and recognizes the contagious nature of the disease as well as the relationship between the most common form, pulmonary tuberculosis, and its other forms (Miki 1962). The Tongui pogam also contains a good description of pulmonary tuberculosis and the symptoms of other forms of the disease. Moreover, it describes symptoms suggesting scrofula,...

Pre Columbian Diseases

On the eve of the European arrival, there are only a limited number of diseases that can be documented for South America. The best evidence survives for Peru in the ceramics of the Moche and Chimu, who accurately depicted diseases, ulcers, tumors, and congenital or acquired deformities in their portrait pots, and in the remains of mummies and skeletons preserved in the coastal deserts and at high altitudes in the Andes (Perera Prast 1970 Horne and Kawasaki 1984). Because so many ancient...

Early Mortality Data Sources and Difficulties of Interpretation

The subject of early (for our purposes, pre-World War II) data on mortality is a vast one, and thus this treatment is quite broad. The emphasis is on identifying classes of data, sources of ambiguity, and general approaches to problems of interpretation. Wherever possible, citations are made to critical surveys of the literature, rather than to the literature itself. Some of the points discussed here can be extended, with appropriate caution and revision, to the equally important, but much less...

The Age of International Serology 190050

In spite of the popular appeal of the struggle of phagocytes, it was not cells but serum that set the style. The key event of this period is the discovery of the striking clinical effectiveness of diphtheria antitoxin. The production and control of this serum and others like it pointed the direction for research in theory and in practice. Although it was the diphtheria serum and its problems that lent them much of their significance, the first of the national serum institutes was established...

Diseases of the Premodern Period in Japan

The role of disease in Japanese history is a topic that has attracted the interest of Western historians only recently. The strongest stimulus for the study of disease and its effects on Japan's premodern society was the publication of a new edition of Fujikawa Yu's classic Nihon shippei shi in 1969 with a foreword by Matsuda Michio (A History of Disease in Japan, originally published in 1912). Along with his History of Japanese Medicine (Nihon igaku shi, 1904), A History of Disease in Japan...

Historical Survey

As revealed by what physicians say and do, an ontological orientation dominates our late-twentieth- century thinking, but this was not always so. Historically, the dominance of ontological and physiological thinking shifted time and again. Concepts of disease in ancient Israel, Egypt, and Mesopotamia were too diffuse and vague to fit easily into ontological or physiological compartments. In the Golden Age of Greece, however, physiological thinking is easily identified. Plato needed no formal...

Tobaccosis

The term tobaccosis in this essay denotes, collectively, all diseases resulting from the smoking, chewing, and snuffing of tobacco and from the breathing of tobacco smoke. They include cancers of the mouth, nasopharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs, esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder, prostate, and cervix, as well as leukemia. They also include atherosclerosis of the cardiovascular system - coronary heart disease (with ischemia and infarction), cardiomyopathy, aortic and...

Concepts of Disease in the West

The semantic and logical quagmires that await anyone audacious enough to safari through the changing concepts of disease, illness, and health are portended by a cursory analysis of the definition formulated by the World Health Organization. Health, we are informed, is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (Caplan, Engel-hardt, and McCartney 1981). Aside from the fact that this seems more realistic for a bovine than a human...

Arthritis

Arthritis is a disease of the joints that includes many syndromes. The term arthritis implies an inflammatory condition of the joints, and inflammation is a major factor in several syndromes. One general category of arthritis, and its most common syndrome, is osteoarthritis. Inflammation may occur in osteoarthritis, but it is usually neither the initial nor the most significant factor. Although genetics, physiology, trauma, and other factors appear to play a role, the most important condition...

Shih Ching

Nosological data in the Shih Ching (Book of Odes, about eighth century B.C.) have been analyzed in detail by Yii Yiin-hsiu, but there is a special difficulty here because these ancient folksongs naturally took advantage of poetic license and it is sometimes difficult to determine whether the disease terms are being used in their proper medical sense some of them may have been used to indicate malaise or depression in general. Nevertheless, shou chi (feverish headaches), shu (enlarged neck...

Skeletal Changes in Anemia Porotic Hyperostosis

Chronic anemia from any cause results in bone changes, which can be recognized in archaeological specimens. These changes, called porotic or symmetrical hyperostosis, result from an overgrowth of bone marrow tissue, which is apparently a compensatory process. The cancellous zone between the cortical layers or tables of the skull is enlarged and the trabeculae become oriented perpendicular to the inner table, giving a radial pattern described as hair standing on end. The inner table is...

History

Clinical Manifestations and Diagnosis The major clinical manifestations of rheumatic fever were first described separately, their relationships not being recognized until the ninteenth century. Thomas Sydenham in 1685 distinguished an acute, febrile polyarthritis chiefly attacking the young and vigorous from gout. One year later, he described as St. Vitus' dance the neurological disorder that is now called Sydenham's chorea (Murphy 1943). It was Richard Bright who in 1839 first connected the...

The Modern Era of Medical Genetics Three Examples of Excellent Knowledge

From our contemporary perspective, the work and insights of Garrod are landmarks. There can be no doubt that the incorporation of the Mendelian laws of heredity into the study of human diseases was the turning point in the history of medical genetics. Surprisingly, however, Garrod's theories and suggestions went largely unnoticed for several decades. One reason for this slow recognition, according to H. Harris (1963), was that it was quite impossible at the time Garrod was writing for most...

Contents

Medicine and Disease An Overview 1.1. History of Western Medicine from Hippocrates to Germ Theory 11 Guenter B. Risse 1.2. History of Chinese Medicine 20 Paul U. Unschuld 1.3. Islamic and Indian Medicine 27 Nancy E. Gallagher 1.4. Disease, Human Migration, and History 35 David E. Stannard II. Changing Concepts of Health and Disease II. 1. Concepts of Disease in the West 45 11.2. Concepts of Disease in East Asia 52 Shigehisa Kuriyama 11.3. Concepts of Mental Illness in the 11.4. Sexual...

Candidiasis including Thrush

Reports and studies of the many and diverse manifestations of candidiasis caused by Candida albicans and other species of Candida (e.g., Candida guillier-mondii, Candida krusei, Candida stellatoidea, Candida tropicalis) have made a major contribution to the literature of medical mycology, as they still do. As for ringworm, a stable taxonomic base was necessary to underpin both clinical and microbiological observations and research on this mycotic complex because C. albicans was described as new...

History and Geography Antiquity

It was known in China in the twenty-seventh century B.C. (Bietti and Werner 1967) and ancient Egypt from the sixteenth century B.C. In 1872 George Ebers discovered a medical papyrus at Thebes that clearly described a chronic conjunctivitis (ophthalmia, lippitudo, chronic granular disease). The ancient Egyptians called the disease Hetae, and their symbol for it was the rain from heaven, which means a flowing downward of fluid. The papyrus also describes the white...

History of Public Health and Sanitation in the West before 1700

Throughout most of the past, ideas about the means and necessity of providing for the health of the general community were based on notions of what ensured an individual's well-being. At this personal level, measures that we might consider motivated by aesthetic choices (rather than fully developed ideals of cleanliness and the health necessities of personal hygiene) were interwoven with practices designed to minimize exposure to disease and injury. In a narrow sense, public health practices...

Ringworm Tinea Dermatophytosis History

Favus (Latin for honeycomb), a distinctive type of ringworm because of the characteristic scutula, was described by Celsus in the first century, A.D., in his De Medicina. He called it porrigo, a term also used by Pliny in his Historia Naturalis of the same century and by dermatologists up to the nineteenth century. It is now, however, obsolete, having been replaced by tinea (derived from Tineola, the generic name of the clothes moth). Celsus also described the inflammatory lesion of some forms...

Diseases in the Prehistoric Period

Our knowledge of the types of diseases suffered by the prehistoric inhabitants of Southeast Asia is, of necessity, based on the examination of a very limited range of human remains unearthed in a few sites in present-day Thailand, the Malay Peninsula, and Sulawesi. The remains represent only the most durable of the body's hard tissues, primarily the skull, mandible, and teeth. Despite such limitations, however, they nevertheless reveal a good deal of information regarding the diseases suffered...

History and Paleopathology

Hippocrates and Aristotle were familiar with the clinical findings of jaundice and biliary disease, but their writings do not specifically mention gallstones. Hippocrates differentiated four types of jaundice due to disease of the liver, but he did not describe any cause related to obstruction. Diocles of Carystus referred to possible mechanical obstruction of the flow of bile. Accounts of Alexander the Great's illness prior to his death in 323 B.C. are quite suggestive of gallstones and...

Epidemiology and Geographic Distribution

Among early authors, Galen during the second century in Rome and Albucasis during the eleventh century in Spain observed the frequent occurrence of bladder stone in young boys. Bladder stone still primarily affects boys under 10 years of age. Among approximately 7,000 cases from Thailand, the median age at operation was 4.5 years. Almost 95 percent of all patients were male (Halstead 1961). Numerous clinical studies of the disease in other regions confirm the occurrence at an early age and a...

Abdominal and Intestinal Disorders

Udara is the anatomical name used in the texts for the abdomen. The term also signifies generalized abdominal disease manifested by enlargement. Most of the Udara disorders are ascribed to bad eating habits or to eating spoiled or poisonous food. A few conditions, however, can be understood by modern medicine. Among them is enlargement of the left side of the abdomen because of a large spleen. The symptoms associated with this condition suggest splenomegaly resulting from malaria or filariasis....

Diseases of Antiquity in Japan

Our knowledge about diseases in the prehistoric era of Japan is extremely limited because not much paleopathological research has been done thus far. For the little information we have about the occurrence of diseases during the early historic period we have to rely on a small number of literary sources. One general assumption, however, may be made from the geographic situation of the Japanese islands Prior to more extensive contact with the Asian continent, Japan may have been free from...

Clinical Manifestations and Pathology Trachoma

The clinical features of trachoma are usually divided into four stages, following the classification system of A. F. MacCallan published in 1931 Stage 1 (incipient trachoma) is characterized by increasing redness of the conjunctiva lining the upper lids and covering the tarsal plate. Magnification reveals many small red dots in the congested conjunctiva. As the organism proliferates, larger pale follicles appear. Both features then spread across the upper conjunctival surface. A minimal exudate...

Etiology and Epidemiology

Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (Type I) Insulin-dependent DM is characterized by clinically acute onset, usually at an early age, lymphoid infiltration of the islets of Langerhans, reduction in the functioning and production of their betacells, reduction in the production and excretion of insulin, increases in islet cell antibodies, weight loss, thirst, frequent urination, and high levels of blood sugar. After the acute onset of type I diabetes, a clinical remission may occur in 25 to 100...