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Article
November 22, 1919

A HYPOTHESIS BEARING ON DISEASE THERAPY

JAMA. 1919;73(21):1629. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610470065027

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Abstract

To the Editor:  —I desire to advance a hypothesis as a serviceable conception of disease processes.Certain organisms or the toxins elaborated by them or poisons otherwise produced initiate specific processes in certain structures. These processes, if unchecked, run a definite course, and tend to produce characteristic symptoms. In many individuals so afflicted there comes a time in which the injured structures are sensitized not only to the specific proteins elaborated by the causal organisms, but also to allied proteins elaborated by other organisms, and perhaps to allied bodies chemically produced. In such instances the structural change already initiated tends to run as it would if the controlled original cause were still acting.Thus a tabetic, as a result of vigorous antisyphilitic treatment, may become symptomless, and his cerebrospinal fluid may be brought to normal; but if he should suffer from an infection, as acute appendicitis, the patient's chief and

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