January 1954


AMA Arch Intern Med. 1954;93(1):121-161. doi:10.1001/archinte.1954.00240250131010

IN RECENT years American physicians and biologists have given of their thought and effort to this enticing topic in a measure unprecedented and with results unmatched in medical history. Hence, the features of some rheumatic diseases appear more distinct and meaningful. Their reaction to familiar and new influences can be presaged with greater accuracy. For the first time the effect of a potent antirheumatic alkaloid used empirically since 600 A. D. can be rationalized. Satisfactory control of two major clinical forms of rheumatism has become a reasonable expectation.

If this synopsis were to register current reports in rheumatology according to their commonest subject, those dealing with experimental treatments would dominate in number and volume. The supply of new remedies indeed exceeds the capacity of facilities for sound appraisal in the laboratory and clinic. Rheumatic diseases, many of obscure origin, tend to a chronic and remitting course, which may be readily

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