Tag Archives: Physiology

A poet for a patient: a tenth century poem by al Mutanabbi

Sama Alreddawi Barry Meisenberg Annapolis, Maryland, United States   “The Night Visitor”1 …عَليـلُ الجِسـمِ مُمتَنِـعُ القِـيـامِ شَديدُ السُكرِ مِـن غَيـرِ المُـدامِ …وزَائِرَتـي كَـأَنَّ بِهـا حَـيـاءً فَلَيـسَ تَـزورُ إِلّا فـي الظَـلامِ بَذَلتُ لَها المَطـارِفَ وَالحَشايـا… فَعافَتهـا وَباتَـت فـي عِظامـي يَضيقُ الجِلدُ عَن نَفسـي وَعَنهـا… فَتوسِـعُـهُ بِـأَنـواعِ السِـقـامِ …إِذا مـا فارَقَتـنـي غَسَّلَتـنـي كَأَنّـا عاكِفـانِ عَلـى حَــرامِ كَأَنَّ […]

Diagnosis: Neurosyphilis. Treatment: Malaria, iatrogenic

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Patient in Kettering hypertherm cabinet undergoing fever therapy. New Orleans, 1937. U.S. Marine Hospital. Works Progress Administration photo. New Orleans Public Library Digital Collections via Wikimedia. Public domain. “The syphilitic man was thinking hard…about how to get his legs to step off the curb and carry him across Washington Street. […]

Jean-Baptiste de Sénac and his early textbook on cardiology

Göran Wettrell Lund, Sweden   Figure 1. Portrait of Jean-Baptiste de Sénac (1693-1770). Wellcome Library, London. William Harvey was an important figure in the early days of cardiovascular physiology. Based on meticulous observations, he published De Motu Cordis and Sanguinus in 1628 and has been proposed as the founder of physiology and cardiology.1 During the […]

JLW Thudichum: neglected “Father of neurochemistry”

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Johann Ludwig Wilhelm Thudichum. Photo. National Library of Medicine. Public domain. Knowledge of diseases of the nervous system reflects an understanding of the basic sciences of neural mechanisms and organization. In the last decade of the nineteenth century, the Nobel prizewinners Camillo Golgi and Santiago Ramón […]

The forerunner

Shafiqah Samarasam Malaysia   Skyline in Kuala Lumpur with haze. 2004. Photo by Nesnad. Via Wikimedia. CC BY 3.0. Southeast Asia has experienced detrimental, large-scale air pollution for decades. Known as the “Southeast Asia haze,” this transboundary pollution is largely caused by illegal agricultural fires in the forests of Indonesia. The lingering smoke results in breathing […]

Healing literature

Scott D. Vander Ploeg Cocoa Beach, Florida, United States   Dr. Vander Ploeg (Ph.D.) checks the lit pressure of the complete works of William Shakespeare published in The Riverside Shakespeare. Photo by Audrey Kon. Courtesy of the author. I taught English courses for thirty years at a community college in western Kentucky. One of the […]

Lina Shtern and the blood brain barrier

Irving Rosen Toronto, Ontario, Canada   Dr. Lina Shtern (1878-1968), an esteemed Russian physiologist did pioneering work with the blood brain barrier, and experienced distress as a result of her involvement in the WWII Russian war effort. Smithsonian Institution Archives, Image No. SIA2009-3768. Future generations will remember our age for unbelievable electronic progress, but also […]

William Sands Cox—surgeon and founder of the Birmingham Medical School

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Drawing of William Sands Cox by T H Mcguire. 1854. Public domain. Via Wikimedia  In the early nineteenth century Birmingham was the second largest city in England. It was an industrial powerhouse, known as the city of a thousand trades, but it did not have its own medical […]

The finality in their voices: Death, disease, and palliation in opera

Lea C. Dacy Eelco F. M. Wijdicks Rochester, Minnesota, United States   Figure 1: Violetta’s deathbed in La Traviata, from 2009 Glimmerglass Opera production directed by Sir Jonathan Miller. Photo by Richard Termine, used with his permission. I know she had tuberculosis! She was coughing her brains out . . . but still she kept […]

Roget and his Thesaurus

JMS Pearce East Yorks, UK   Fig 1. Peter Mark Roget (1779-1869). William. Drummond, after Eden Upton Eddis. c.1830s. Credit National Portrait Gallery  There was much more to Peter Mark Roget (1779–1869)(Fig 1) than his indispensable Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases (Fig 2).1 But little is remembered of his illustrious career in medicine and […]