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March 21, 1936

A Basis for the Theory of Medicine

JAMA. 1936;106(12):1034. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770120066032

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This monograph with a rather ambitious title will impress the reader with the way in which the Pavlov school has dominated soviet medical science. The text deals almost exclusively with neurophysiology and at times a philosophic attempt to explain diverse pathologic and clinical observations on that basis. The book lacks clarity and organization, and much interesting information is submerged as a result of it. The author discusses the nervous mechanism of complex convulsive states, the rôle of the cerebrospinal fluid in the genesis of some forms of encephalitis, its circulation, the rôle of the nervous system in the pathogenesis of certain infectious diseases, and dystrophic processes within the nervous system. Original experiments are cited throughout the text. While many thoughts expressed in the book are provocative, it lacks unity. The main criticism of this monograph is its unjustified generalizations. The author has strayed too far from his material. He has

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