Scientific medicine has yielded information that has led to definite prolongation of life, but this achievement is the result, primarily, of preventive and curative measures in the more acute diseases. The greatest progress has been made when it has been possible to observe and record symptoms, signs and pathologic changes from the earliest departure from normal until ultimate cure or death. Present knowledge is largely the result of correlated studies in instances in which the rapid sequence of events has permitted the successful application of the principle of "wait and see." Carefully kept hospital and private records have made possible the review and study of the sequence of events leading to a given outcome and the formulation of definite criteria for prognosis. On the other hand, studies of chronic degenerative diseases have been confined almost exclusively to the end-stages. Henry Christian recently said:
The problem of preventive medicine in relation
SQUIER TL. AN APPROACH TO THE STUDY OF DEGENERATIVE DISEASE. JAMA. 1931;97(7):445–448. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02730070011005
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