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.
From the early nineteenth century, as lay-led lunacy reform movements gained in influence, ever more state governments in the West extended their authority and responsibility over the mentally ill. Small-scale asylums, conceived as instruments to reshape both the mind and behaviour of the disturbed, proliferated across these regions. By the 1830s, moral treatment, together with the asylum itself, became increasingly medicalised and asylum doctors began to establish a distinct medical identity with the establishment in the 1840s of associations for their members in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and America, together with the founding of medico-psychological journals. Medical optimism in the capacity of the asylum to cure insanity soured by the close of the nineteenth century as the growth of the asylum population far outstripped that of the general population.[a] Processes of long-term institutional segregation, allowing for the psychiatric conceptualisation of the natural course of mental illness, supported the perspective that the insane were a distinct population, subject to mental pathologies stemming from specific medical causes. As degeneration theory grew in influence from the mid-nineteenth century, heredity was seen as the central causal element in chronic mental illness, and, with national asylum systems overcrowded and insanity apparently undergoing an inexorable rise, the focus of psychiatric therapeutics shifted from a concern with treating the individual to maintaining the racial and biological health of national populations.
We’ve really enjoyed the process of interviewing some of the doctors from our Practice Accelerator, and this week we introduce Dr. Rick Henriksen of Kestrel Wellness. Dr. Rick Henriksen, M.D., M.P.P. is a Salt Lake City-based, board-certified, family physician. Having returned to the U.S. from a stint in Ecuador, he was determined to do the next iteration of his practice right. Listen in as he shares his model, his progress and key learnings from the journey.
I ended up selling the practice to my partner and taking a 20-month sabbatical due to a motor vehicle accident. I had considered retiring after selling the practice, but in the area where I live there are very few people practicing this style of medicine and the need far exceeds the number of people who have the skills or knowledge. During the time I was not working, I had many former patients contacting me and wanting to know when I was going to open a new practice.
1656 Experimenting on dogs, English architect Sir Christopher Wren is the first to administer medications intravenously by means of an animal bladder attached to a sharpened quill. Wren also experiments with canine blood transfusions (although safe human blood transfusions only became feasible after Karl Landsteiner develops the ABO blood-typing system in 1900).
Among its many surgical descriptions, the Sushruta Samhita documents cataract surgery. The patient had to look at the tip of his or her nose while the surgeon, holding the eyelids apart with thumb and index finger, used a needle-like instrument to pierce the eyeball from the side. It was then sprinkled with breast milk and the outside of the eye bathed with a herbal medication. The surgeon used the instrument to scrape out the clouded lens until the eye “assumed the glossiness of a resplendent cloudless sun”. During recovery it was important for the patient to avoiding coughing, sneezing, burping or anything else that might cause pressure in the eye. If the operation were a success, the patient would regain some useful vision, albeit unfocused.
Later Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) proved that microscopic organisms caused disease. In the early 19th century many scientists believed in spontaneous generation i.e. that some living things spontaneously grew from non-living matter. In a series of experiments between 1857 and 1863 Pasteur proved this was not so. Once doctors knew what caused disease they made rapid headway in finding cures or prevention.
Discover the history of medicine through our rich and unique collections, which include over 20,000 monographs and 4,000 manuscripts, as well as photographs, illustrations, medical instruments, medals, and a variety of medical artifacts. We also offer a setting for classes, provide research consultations, host a speaker series and other special events, exhibit items from the collections, and issue a regular newsletter and special publications.
Herophilus of Chalcedon, working at the medical school of Alexandria placed intelligence in the brain, and connected the nervous system to motion and sensation. Herophilus also distinguished between veins and arteries, noting that the latter pulse while the former do not. He and his contemporary, Erasistratus of Chios, researched the role of veins and nerves, mapping their courses across the body. Erasistratus connected the increased complexity of the surface of the human brain compared to other animals to its superior intelligence. He sometimes employed experiments to further his research, at one time repeatedly weighing a caged bird, and noting its weight loss between feeding times. In Erasistratus' physiology, air enters the body, is then drawn by the lungs into the heart, where it is transformed into vital spirit, and is then pumped by the arteries throughout the body. Some of this vital spirit reaches the brain, where it is transformed into animal spirit, which is then distributed by the nerves.
Like all biological systems, both disease-causing organisms and their victims evolve. Understanding evolution can make a big difference in how we treat disease. The evolution of disease-causing organisms may outpace our ability to invent new treatments, but studying the evolution of drug resistance can help us slow it. Learning about the evolutionary origins of diseases may provide clues about how to treat them. And considering the basic processes of evolution can help us understand the roots of genetic diseases.
Mummified bodies provide direct evidence for ailments and their treatments. They have shown us that ancient Egyptians suffered from eye diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, bladder, kidney and gallstones, bilharzia, arterial disease, gout and appendicitis. The tree-bark splints on a 5,000 year old mummified arm show that fractures were splinted. Most bone fractures found archaeologically are healed, further proof of good medical care.
This week on the Evolution of Medicine podcast, we feature Steven Feyrer-Melk, PhD, co-founder of a preventative cardiology practice, The Optimal Heart Center and Chief Science Officer of Nudge Coach, a lifestyle medicine technology company. Nudge has sponsored the Functional Forum and the Evolution of Medicine podcast in the past year and has worked with us to bring our community of practitioners a valuable addition to their practices that allows every patient to feel supported at all times.
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.
Furthermore during the 18th century a number of hospitals were founded. In 1724 Guys Hospital was founded with a bequest from a merchant named Thomas Guy. St Georges was founded in 1733 and Middlesex Hospital in 1745. Hospitals were also founded in Bristol in 1733, York in 1740, Exeter in 1741 and Liverpool in 1745. The first civilian hospital in America opened in Philadelphia in 1751. In the late 18th century and early 19th century dispensaries were founded in many towns. They were charities were the poor could obtain free medicines.
During the 19th century medicine made rapid progress. In 1816 a man named Rene Laennec invented the stethoscope. At first he used a tube of paper. Later he used a wooden version. In 1822 a trapper named Alexis St Martin was shot in the stomach. The wound healed leaving a hole into his stomach. A doctor named William Beaumont found out how a stomach works by looking through the hole.
Retinal neurons and their axon output have evolved to be inside the layer of retinal pigment cells. This creates a constraint on the evolution of the visual system such that the optic nerve is forced to exit the retina through a point called the optic disc. This, in turn, creates a blind spot. More importantly, it makes vision vulnerable to increased pressure within the eye (glaucoma) since this cups and damages the optic nerve at this point, resulting in impaired vision.
Because of the social custom that men and women should not be near to one another, the women of China were reluctant to be treated by male doctors. The missionaries sent women doctors such as Dr. Mary Hannah Fulton (1854–1927). Supported by the Foreign Missions Board of the Presbyterian Church (US) she in 1902 founded the first medical college for women in China, the Hackett Medical College for Women, in Guangzhou.
After the fall of Rome in the 5th century the eastern half of the Roman Empire continued (we know it as The Byzantine Empire) and later Muslims took their knowledge of medicine from there. In the 9th century a man named Hunain Ibn Ishaq traveled to Greece collecting Greek books. He then returned to Baghdad and translated them into Arabic. Later the same works were translated into Latin and passed back to western Europe.
James Maskell: Cool. I’d love to leave your listeners with something just to get them thinking, Chris, before the summit comes up. Because we did have one talk that I think is going to really change people’s thoughts on a lot of things. You know, a lot of it is great information, but I know that you’re passionate about the biome, the microbiome, and our understanding of germs. But if you don’t mind, I’d love to just share one concept that was shared that I think that you’ll really like. I’d love to get your comment on it.
Dr. Brogan shares the story of how she first met James and the journey that she has witnessed in the years that she has known him. James shares his story from birth to deciding to becoming an investment banker to making his way into the world of healthcare. From attending conferences to now becoming a featured speaker. From helping one practitioner to setting up clinics and now after 30 episodes of the Functional Forum, reaching thousands of practitioners all over the world. James has taken his years of experience and created a roadmap for the success of modern integrative practitioners in his book The Evolution of Medicine.