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Disease and Its Causes   By:

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DISEASE AND ITS CAUSES

by

W. T. COUNCILMAN, A.M., M.D., LL.D. Professor of Pathology, Harvard University

New York Henry Holt and Company London Williams and Norgate The University Press, Cambridge, U.S.A.

1913

PREFACE

In this little volume the author has endeavored to portray disease as life under conditions which differ from the usual. Life embraces much that is unknown and in so far as disease is a condition of living things it too presents many problems which are insoluble with our present knowledge. Fifty years ago the extent of the unknown, and at that time insoluble questions of disease, was much greater than at present, and the problems now are in many ways different from those in the past. No attempt has been made to simplify the subject by the presentation of theories as facts.

The limitation as to space has prevented as full a consideration of the subject as would be desirable for clearness, but a fair division into the general and concrete phases of disease has been attempted. Necessarily most attention has been given to the infectious diseases and their causes. This not only because these diseases are the most important but they are also the best known and give the simplest illustrations. The space given to the infectious diseases has allowed a merely cursory description of the organic diseases and such subjects as insanity and heredity. Of the organic diseases most space has been devoted to disease of the heart. There is slight consideration of the environment and social conditions as causes of disease.

Very few authors are mentioned in the text and no bibliography is given. There is lack of literature dealing with the general aspects of disease; the book moreover is not written for physicians, and the list of investigators from whose work the knowledge of disease has been derived would be too long to cite.

It has been assumed that the reader has some familiarity with elementary anatomy and physiology, and these subjects have been considered only as much as is necessary to set the scene for the drama. I am indebted to my friend, Mr. W. R. Thayer, for patiently enduring the reading of the manuscript and for many suggestions as to phrasing.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

CHAPTER I

DEFINITION OF DISEASE. CHARACTERISTICS OF LIVING MATTER. CELLS AS THE LIVING UNITS. AMOEBA AS TYPE OF A UNICELLULAR ANIMAL. THE RELATION OF LIVING MATTER TO ENVIRONMENT. CAPACITY OF ADAPTATION TO ENVIRONMENT SHOWN BY LIVING MATTER. INDIVIDUALITY OF LIVING MATTER. THE CAUSES OF DISEASE EXTRINSIC. THE RELATION OF THE HUMAN BODY TO THE ENVIRONMENT. THE SURFACES OF THE BODY. THE INCREASE OF SURFACE BY GLAND FORMATION. THE REAL INTERIOR OF THE BODY REPRESENTED BY THE VARIOUS STRUCTURES PLACED BETWEEN THE SURFACES. THE FLUIDS OF THE BODY. THE NERVOUS SYSTEM. THE HEART AND BLOOD VESSELS. THE CELLS OF THE BLOOD. THE DUCTLESS GLANDS 9

CHAPTER II

NO SHARP LINE OF DEMARCATION BETWEEN HEALTH AND DISEASE. THE FUNCTIONAL NUTRITIVE AND FORMATIVE ACTIVITIES OF CELLS. DESTRUCTION AND REPAIR CONSTANT PROCESSES IN LIVING MATTER. INJURIES TO THE BODY. THE EFFECT OF HEAT. THE ACTION OF POISONS. THE LESIONS OF DISEASE. REPAIR. THE LAWS GOVERNING REPAIR. RELATION OF REPAIR TO COMPLEXITY OF STRUCTURE AND AGE. THE RESERVE FORCE OF THE BODY. COMPENSATORY PROCESSES IN THE BODY. OLD AGE. THE DIMINUTION OF RESISTANCE TO THE EFFECTS OF THE ENVIRONMENT A PROMINENT FACTOR IN OLD AGE. DEATH. HOW BROUGHT ABOUT. CHANGES IN THE BODY AFTER DEATH. THE RECOGNITION OF DEATH 40

CHAPTER III

THE GROWTH OF THE BODY. GROWTH MORE RAPID IN EMBRYONIC PERIOD. THE COƖRDINATION AND REGULATION OF GROWTH. TUMORS. THE GROWTH OF TUMORS COMPARED WITH NORMAL GROWTH. SIZE. SHAPE AND STRUCTURE OF TUMORS. THE GROWTH CAPACITY OF TUMORS AS SHOWN BY THE INOCULATION OF TUMORS OF MICE. BENIGN AND MALIGNANT TUMORS. EFFECT OF INHERITANCE... Continue reading book >>




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