Thomas Addison1 was the first to observe that complete destruction of the adrenal glands results in death. He also suggested that a study of the disease now known by his name might lead to some understanding of the function of these glands. This prophecy has been amply fulfilled. In addition to the clinical approach to the problem, as suggested by Addison, knowledge of the physiologic activities of these structures has been greatly enhanced by two other methods of attack. The first of these, a corollary of the clinical method, is represented by a study of the changes resulting from adrenalectomy in animals and the effects of extracts of various portions of the gland on the disturbances encountered. By the application of this technic, the elementary and fundamental fact that the extract of the cortex is essential for survival has been established. Furthermore, it has been shown that medullary extract
LOEB RF, ATCHLEY DW, STAHL J. THE ROLE OF SODIUM IN ADRENAL INSUFFICIENCY. JAMA. 1935;104(24):2149–2154. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760240009004
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