By Kenneth F. Kiple

Combining fresh clinical discoveries with historic and geographical scholarship, The Cambridge international background of Human sickness strains the idea that of ailment all through background and in every one significant global sector. It deals the background and geography of every major human disease--both historic and contemporary--from AIDS to yellow fever, and touches at the number of methods that assorted clinical traditions have used to struggle affliction. available to laypeople and experts alike, The Cambridge global historical past of Human affliction deals a rare glimpse of what's identified approximately human well-being because the twenty-first century starts off.

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Extra resources for The Cambridge World History of Human Disease

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Medicine and Disease: An Overview 16 neered in 1721, but it remained controversial because of its potential for causing full-fledged, often fatal cases of smallpox and thus triggering unexpected epidemics. After the 1760s, however, simplified and safer inoculation methods found popular acceptance, and these were replaced in the 1790s by cowpox vaccination, introduced by Edward Jenner. On the theoretical front, the eighteenth century became the age of medical systems in the Western world. It was clear that a synthesis of the isolated physical and chemical discoveries of the preceding century into a comprehensive system would be necessary to provide a rationale for and guidance to clinical activities.

The Empiricists, houses called xenones (hostels) and more specifically under the guidance of Herophilus, revolted against nosokomeia (places for the sick). Among the first was excessive speculation and expressed skepticism an inn built by Bishop Basil around 375 in Caesarea, about the value of medical theory, placing instead which was apparently staffed by nurses and physigreater emphasis on bedside experience. Two centu- cians. Two decades later similar institutions opened ries later, a third group of Greek physicians residing their doors in Constantinople, and thereafter such in Rome — the Methodists — espoused a simplistic hospitals proliferated in other major commercial citview of bodily functioning and restricted their treat- ies of the Byzantine Empire.

As this research has gone forward, it has become clear that many other disease conditions, such as lactose intolerance and diabetes, are strongly influenced by heredity. Leslie Sue Lieberman argues that in the latter instance a "thrifty gene" left over from the feast and famine days of our hunter-gatherer ancestors may be at work. Genes also play a vital role in selecting cancer and heart disease victims or even gout patients, although in these cases genetic predisposition can often be modified by behavioral changes - and to that extent these illnesses can be viewed as human made.

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