Surgery was greatly improved by the discovery of Anesthetics. As early as 1799 the inventor Humphry Davy (1778-1829) realized that inhaling ether relieved pain. Unfortunately decades passed before it was actually used by a man named Crawford Long in an operation in 1842. James Simpson (1811-1870), who was Professor of Midwifery at Edinburgh University, began using chloroform for operations in 1847. In 1884 cocaine was used as a local anesthetic. From 1905 Novocain was used.
A major breakthrough in epidemiology came with the introduction of statistical maps and graphs. They allowed careful analysis of seasonality issues in disease incidents, and the maps allowed public health officials to identify critical loci for the dissemination of disease. John Snow in London developed the methods. In 1849, he observed that the symptoms of cholera, which had already claimed around 500 lives within a month, were vomiting and diarrhoea. He concluded that the source of contamination must be through ingestion, rather than inhalation as was previously thought. It was this insight that resulted in the removal of The Pump On Broad Street, after which deaths from cholera plummeted afterwards. English nurse Florence Nightingale pioneered analysis of large amounts of statistical data, using graphs and tables, regarding the condition of thousands of patients in the Crimean War to evaluate the efficacy of hospital services. Her methods proved convincing and led to reforms in military and civilian hospitals, usually with the full support of the government.
^ Nesse RM, Bergstrom CT, Ellison PT, Flier JS, Gluckman P, Govindaraju DR, Niethammer D, Omenn GS, Perlman RL, Schwartz MD, Thomas MG, Stearns SC, Valle D (January 2010). "Evolution in health and medicine Sackler colloquium: Making evolutionary biology a basic science for medicine". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 107. 107 Suppl 1 (suppl_1): 1800–7. doi:10.1073/pnas.0906224106. PMC 2868284. PMID 19918069.
Chris Kresser: Yeah, that’s pretty amazing. I talked with Mark Hyman a little bit about the Cleveland Clinic Functional Medicine Program. And just for the listeners, what this is—and James, you might know a little bit more about it than I do—but just from what Mark said, the Cleveland Clinic, for those who don’t know, is a major institution in the field of medical research and pioneering new treatments and approaches to disease from the more mainstream perspective. They basically invited Mark Hyman to create a functional medicine group within the Cleveland Clinic that is funded and actively looking for strategies. Basically, how to scale functional medicine and make it more viable within the healthcare model that we have. And that is a really much-needed step because, as I’m sure all the listeners know, right now in functional medicine, everything is paid for out of pocket. Insurance doesn’t cover it. That really limits the number of people who will be able to take advantage of it. So getting some mainstream recognition like this for functional medicine is a huge step in terms of making it more accessible and available to the majority of people out there.
One of the things that James learned last week is that he has “perfect detoxification pathways”, but not all people are so lucky. A huge topic of discussion on the upcoming Summit is MTHFR. Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase is the rate-limiting enzyme in the methyl cycle, and it is encoded by the MTHFR gene. This week we welcome Sterling Hill, the founder of MTHFRsupport.com. Sterling is an educator and having found out of her personal status and what it means for her - she has been educating others about the impact of MTHFR for years.
1899 Felix Hoffman develops aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid). The juice from willow tree bark had been used as early as 400 BC to relieve pain. 19th century scientists knew that it was the salicylic acid in the willow that made it work, but it irritated the lining of the mouth and stomach. Hoffman synthesizes acetyl salicylic acid, developing what is now the most widely used medicine in the world.
^ Hayward, Rhodri (2011). "Medicine and the Mind". In Jackson, Mark. The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine. Oxford University Press. pp. 524–42. ISBN 978-0199546497.; Scull, Andrew (2005). Most Solitary of Afflictions: Madness And Society in Britain, 1700–1900. Yale University Press. pp. 324–28. ISBN 978-0300107548.; Dowbiggin, I. (1992). ""An exodus of enthusiasm": G. Alder Blumer, eugenics, and US psychiatry, 1890–1920". Medical History. 36 (4): 379–402. doi:10.1017/S002572730005568X. PMC 1036631. PMID 1435019.; Snelders, S.; Meijman, F.J.; Pieters, T. (2007). "Heredity and alcoholism in the medical sphere: The Netherlands, 1850–1900". Medical History. 51 (2): 219–36. doi:10.1017/S0025727300001204. PMC 1871693. PMID 17538696.; Turda, M. (2009). ""To end the degeneration of a nation": Debates on eugenic sterilization in inter-war Romania". Medical History. 53 (1): 77–104. doi:10.1017/S002572730000332X. PMC 2629178. PMID 19190750.
The development of modern neurology began in the 16th century in Italy and France with Niccolò Massa, Jean Fernel, Jacques Dubois and Andreas Vesalius. Vesalius described in detail the anatomy of the brain and other organs; he had little knowledge of the brain's function, thinking that it resided mainly in the ventricles. Over his lifetime he corrected over 200 of Galen's mistakes. Understanding of medical sciences and diagnosis improved, but with little direct benefit to health care. Few effective drugs existed, beyond opium and quinine. Folklore cures and potentially poisonous metal-based compounds were popular treatments. Independently from Ibn al-Nafis, Michael Servetus rediscovered the pulmonary circulation, but this discovery did not reach the public because it was written down for the first time in the "Manuscript of Paris" in 1546, and later published in the theological work which he paid with his life in 1553. Later this was perfected by Renaldus Columbus and Andrea Cesalpino. Later William Harvey correctly described the circulatory system. The most useful tomes in medicine used both by students and expert physicians were De Materia Medica and Pharmacopoeia.
Across Europe medical schools relied primarily on lectures and readings. The final year student would have limited clinical experience by trailing the professor through the wards. Laboratory work was uncommon, and dissections were rarely done because of legal restrictions on cadavers. Most schools were small, and only Edinburgh, Scotland, with 11,000 alumni, produced large numbers of graduates.
^ Cooter, R.J. (1976). "Phrenology and British alienists, c. 1825–1845. Part I: Converts to a doctrine". Medical History. 20 (1): 1–21. doi:10.1017/s0025727300021761. PMC 1081688. PMID 765647.; Cooter, R.J. (1976). "Phrenology and British alienists, c. 1825–1845. Part II: Doctrine and practice". Medical History. 20 (2): 135–51. doi:10.1017/s0025727300022195. PMC 1081733. PMID 781421.
In this review, the endlessness evolution of medical science and medical technology, and its effects on disease metamorphosis and increased life expectancy are discussed. In certain instances, the past will be compared with the present and predictions for the future will be outlined. Further, the constant role of the physician in maintaining the health of human beings is emphasized in this endlessness evolution.
Late 1800s: The expectation in the United States that hospitals for the mentally ill and humane treatment will cure the sick does not prove true. State mental hospitals become over-crowded, and custodial care supersedes humane treatment. New York World reporter Nellie Bly poses as a mentally ill person to become an inmate at an asylum. Her reports from inside result in more funding to improve conditions.