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Does medicine need theory?

The history of adaptogenes discovered by Israel Brechman follows the theoretical and medical concept of stress , whose exponent was Janos (Hans) Selye . Before I go on, I will ask - have you ever heard the term " theoretical medicine "? Because I did not meet him in my childhood in any medical book, or later in my studies of physiology at the UK. Theoretical biology is a legitimate science that lectures on the UK, and theoretical physics is the everyday concept ...

Theoretical Counter Practical Science

Luckily, my task is to reject the definition of science, but the good common sense tells me that "the most science" is physics, then biology and then medicine. Furthermore, intuition tells me that theoretical physics is the true physics, while experimental physics is her maid (though honored). So it seems that the science that physics is undoubtedly the theory needs, or is based on.

Theoretical biology

If I do not have common sense in biology, I will hear that theoretical biology is an exotic but recognized discipline. It's like an image of a distracted professor - on the one hand, a little "useless", on the other hand, offering profound insights that would give biologists the opportunity to topple the giant physicists who are publishing in biological journals and who have mastered our own field. Biology would like to be based on its own theory beyond physical chemistry, but it has not been successful in practice - despite the heroic efforts of Wilson, Prigozins and Žabotinsky.

Theoretical medicine

However, the peer review of medicine will be quite negative. I hear that theoretical medicine is a puffy concept, exotic discipline, at best some kind of introduction to medicine, that every particular illness has a specific aetiology and therapy, that the true theory of medicine is molecular medicine, that cheering attracts laziness and charlatans ... Moreover my intuition it seems that one day - sometimes from the 1930s to the 1960s - theoretical medicine was viewed more seriously, whereas today theoreticians are more concerned with the lack of interest that reflects the declining interest in science in general, which is a reflection ... but I would already be getting into the field of money and that does not belong here. In order to find out what others think about theoretical medicine, I copied the words "theoretical medicine" into the search engine after writing this paragraph. Snippets from results:

  • "For example, while theoretical medicine seeks to address the causes of health and illness, practical medicine simply tries to keep people healthy."
  • Or: "Theoretical Medicine = Biomedicine" (read: theoretical medicine does not exist)
  • Or, "The theoretical medicine, lifted out of life, did not help the sick much." (from the history of medicine, here )
  • One professor (Mikuláš Popovič, born in 1941, Mukachevo) has a theoretical medicine among his specialties.
  • Even in the information giant called Wikipedia, the "Theoretical Medicine" page does not exist (even in the English version), again we find only a handful of professors, the year of the 40s.

Fate of the Forgotten Branch

So it seems that I was not so far from the truth. Medicine likes to say science, but when it comes to breaking the bread, it follows the principles of craftsmanship. The original thoughts of the founders of theoretical medicine, like Jánosz / Hans Selye with stress, or even Israel Brechman with an adaptogen , are forgotten. Students of medicine will meet the concepts of theoretical medicine in introductory lectures, but theoretical medicine as a discipline, to the extent I hear, practically ceased to exist. Stress and adaptogen folk in fashionable words, and hurrying experimenters do not have time for theory.For example, Marina Davidovová in its report "Eleutherococcus senticosus as an adaptogen - a closer look" ( Siberian Ginseng as an adaptogen - a closer look) collected detailed information about its phytochemistry, but theoretical medical meaning of the term adaptogen it already escapes. She had time to get acquainted with only her version of it, which she promptly rejects. In the case of stress, Gerald Weissman, "Experimental pathology of stress: Hans Selye to Paris Hilton"(Experimental Pathology of Stress: From Hans Selye to Paris Hilton), where Weissman Selye mocks Paris Hilton as the frontman, his theoretical work claims to be self-confident, and his practical attempts - the only one he can not deny the value - diminishes by pointing to the previous authors. But Weissman is not an inability to understand anything but fun - Selye is just one of the hundreds of satire victims, whom the old man regularly enjoys himself and his audience. In doing so, he inadvertently demonstrates how "normal" medicine is looking at theoretical medicine.

Einstein in medicine is not welcome?

It was just the Weissman article, which brought me to the parallel between Sely and Albert Einstein. Weissman eagerly betrays what is in respectable sources ( pdf) does not always we learn - namely that Selye prevented the word stress for at least a year Walter B. Cannon ( Stresses and Strains of Homeostasis , 1935), while Selye's flagship publication "A syndrome produced by various nocuous agents " (syndrome induced by various harmful agents) appeared in Natureup to a year later. It also points to older experiments dealing with corticosteroids in stressful situations. It made me think. Even with Einstein, one could point to the previously known Lorentz transformation - that the discovery was already "hanging in the air". But a genius had to come to make it a coherent theory. After all, Konrad Lorenz's envious criminals claim that his imprinting at the house does not tell the peasants anything new and Isaac Newton that apples fell long before gravity laws ...

The theorists blame yourself for self-promotion

In his life, Selye wrote more than 1,500 papers and scientific reviews, roughly the same as his countryman Pál Erdös, the most productive mathematician of all time. Why so much? Was it just for self-realization, how does Weissman suspect? I think it was an effort to grasp hard to grasp. He faced a similar problem as Doc. Anton Markos , who in his lectures on theoretical biology still repeats the same words, and recommends reading thousands of pages , even though he is trying to single-digitize the gene and get rid of the slogan that "the gene is a nucleotide sequence in DNA."

Ignore the audience

Jánosz / Hans Selye was a productive experimentator. In rats exposed to various stressors, in addition to a specific response, the non-specific general response syndrome (Selye's own induction) showed adrenal enlargement, lymph node enlargement, thymus reduction, and hormonal changes. He has developed a systematic classification of steroid hormones for corticosteroids (adrenal hormones), androgens and estrogens. He introduced the term glucocorticoid and described the anti-inflammatory effect of corticoids several years before this fact was clinically confirmed ( Szabo2012lhs). However, I do not consider the introduction of new words, nor the research of specific hormones, as Selye's greatest contribution, but the theory of stress and health that Selye describes in his publications as a unified theory of medicine and which practitioners still ignore more and more today.

Nobello outside the bowl

I do not know if the Nobel Prize is - as Feynman said - the second mistake of Alfred Nobel, but at least sometimes there are slaves. And I am not talking about the ridiculous price of peace for the European Commission (!), But mainly about the fact that the Nobel Committee has not dared give Einstein the theory of relativity - it has got it for a "more practical" photoelectric phenomenon. Likewise, Jánosz / Hans Selye never had the chance to get a nobel for a unified theory of medicine, just as it could not be given to genius Erdös for mathematics ... He had the chance to get it for the glucocorticoids he discovered and named. However, when the price for glucocorticoids was awarded in the 1950s, Selye was not on the list. Selye was then nominated for a nobel nine more times - unsuccessfully every time. We just live on a planet where the most prestigious scientific prize for theoretical work is not awarded.

Theoretical medicine is missing today

It is time to admit that I have exaggerated somewhat in the previous text. Stress theory lives, mental stress has been generalized as an allostatic burden ( Mcewen2000aal ), and immune and neurological correlates of stress are investigated . Even the theoretical medicine is developing somewhere, albeit only in a very narrow circle of people interested. For example, Bengt Brülde . Although Brülde calls his discipline "practical philosophy," he is mostly practicing hardcore theoretical medicine ( Brulde2001gmt , Brulde2000hdc , etc.) Lewis S. Coleman has a more personal approach to theoretical medicine , see his "30 years lost in anesthesia theory"(30 lost years in anesthesia theory). Coleman has long opened Selye's theory of stress in surgical operations and is attempting to abstain from the theory of anesthesia as a stress reliever that would otherwise make complicated surgical operations impossible. There will certainly be people who judge the physical superstructure theory for the sake of Kabbalistic calculations of degenerate dimensions, and they will also condemn Coleman's contributions. Even the abstract benefit can ultimately lead to specific changes, just as perpetual mobile has made progress in mechanics. I'm glad to find doctors who are aware of the importance of medical theory, and when they approach Selye's relationship with the seriousness it deserves.

The role of Prague in theoretical medicine and biology

Albert Einstein and Jánosz / Hans Selye have a much longer common cause: they both worked in Prague. Selye studied here (at that time it was the German University of Prague), while Albert Einstein discovered a general theory of relativity 100 years ago. Due to the Austro-Hungarian origin Janosz Selye's physiology in Prague is not surprising - words biochemist and immunologist Felix Haurowitz, "all major German doctors worked at the medical faculty in Prague and in Würzburg." I wonder if Selye also stayed in Viničná 7 like Einstein, or down at Albert, I welcome it.

Another Prague anomaly is today's Department of Philosophy and History of Natural Sciences of the Faculty of Science of the Charles University, which offers the field of Theoretical and Evolutionary Biology and where phenomenal Zdeněk Kratochvíl also works . According to Doc. Anton Markos, the establishment of this department was made possible by the atmosphere of the early 1990s and the vacuum after the abolition of the Marxist-Leninist Institute. At the faculties of the natural sciences of ordinary universities, the establishment of this type of department is otherwise something extraordinary and unusual.

| 2013 - 4.11.2018