Tag Archives: hypertension

Felix Mendelssohn, musical prodigy

Oil portrait of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, painted in 1846 by Eduard Magnus. From the Berlin State Library. Via Wikimedia. Felix Mendelssohn made his musical debut at age nine. Born in Hamburg in 1809, he came from a distinguished German family that moved to Berlin in 1902. His grandfather and father had been successful businessmen who […]

Sympathectomy for hypertension

Components of the sympathetic trunk. Redrawn from Wolf-Heidegger’s Atlas of Human Anatomy. From Anatomic Origin and Molecular Genetics in Neuroblastoma. CC BY 3.0. Sympathectomy for essential hypertension was introduced in the late 1920s at a time when no effective medical treatment was available. It consisted of resecting several sympathetic neurons that exit the spinal cord […]

Walter Kempner (1903–1997) and his rice diet

Photo of Walter Kempner. Source. Walter Kempner, the doctor with the thick German accent who came to America to escape from the Nazis, was born in 1903. Son of two bacteriologists who had both worked on tuberculosis, he graduated in medicine from the  University of Heidelberg in 1928 and subsequently worked there and in Berlin. When […]

Harry Goldblatt and the kidney

Dr. Harry Goldblatt. 1964. Via the National Library of Medicine. In 1928 Dr. Harry Goldblatt applied silver clamps experimentally to the renal arteries of dogs and observed a significant and sustained rise in blood pressure. His main interest as a researcher was to find a cause for hypertension, a disease for which effective treatment was […]

The Emberá of Panama

L. J. Sandlow George Dunea Chicago, Illinois, United States   The Emberá are an indigenous people who live near the Panama-Columbia border. There are about 33,000 living in Darién, Panama, and 50,000 in Colombia. Until 1960 most lived in extended family settlements along the rivers. Since the 60s many have moved together into small villages, […]

The search for Eisenhower’s adrenal tumor

Kevin R. Loughlin Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Figure 1. Letter to KRL from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology For most Americans, the knowledge of Dwight Eisenhower’s health history is limited to the fact that he had a serious heart attack while president. However, a seemingly casual comment by a non-physician political scientist, Robert […]

The death of King George II

In November 1760, the King of Great Britain rose early as was his custom and drank his habitual cup of chocolate. He then went to use his commode on wheels, and minutes later was discovered slumped on the floor, dead. The next day his physician, Frank Nicholls, “opened the body” and found the king had […]

Irvine H. Page M.D. 1901-1991

Earl Smith Chicago, Illinois, United States   Dr. Irvine Page and a lab tech at Cleveland Clinic in the 1960s. 1960s. Provided by Cleveland Clinic. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. CC BY 4.0 Irvine Page was a physician scientist who discovered angiotensin and serotonin and proposed the multifactorial etiology of hypertension. He was a prolific medical […]

Avant garde research on a blood substitute at the Hektoen Institute of Medical Research

Jayant Radhakrishnan Darien, Illinois, United States   From Left to Right: Gerald S Moss MD, Richard Brinkman MD, Lakshman Sehgal PhD, Robert Forest DVM. June 1975, photograph of the team with the first baboon resuscitated with stroma free hemoglobin after being bled down to a hemoglobin concentration of zero. Photo taken by the author. The […]

Sir William Gull, polymath and pioneer physician

William Gull (1816-1890) is remembered by nephrologists as one of the prominent Guy’s Hospital physicians who worked to extend the seminal observations first made by Richard Bright. These investigators worked at a time when blood measurements were not available in clinical medicine and the role of hypertension in causing disease was not appreciated. They tried […]