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November 30, 1918


JAMA. 1918;71(22):1826-1827. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600480042012

There can be little doubt that some, at least, of the so-called endocrine glands play an important part in metabolism. An attempt at present, however, to discover their precise function on the basis of dependable facts is more than likely to lead into a maze of conflicting hypotheses, some of which will not bear even superficial scrutiny. Endocrinology, to borrow a pretentious designation, still remains in good part a collection of guesses enriched and in some cases confused by clinical experiences. It will be imperative to prepare a far more substantial foundation for these new aspects of physiology and pathology before the therapy of the subject can be put on a rational basis. Lately several substantial contributions in the direction of progress have been made. Carefully conducted experiments on thyroidectomized animals in which precautions were taken to leave the parathyroid glands functionally intact have shown that, following the abolition of