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July 22, 1974

The Endocrine Glands

Author Affiliations

Evanston, Ill

JAMA. 1974;229(4):469. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230420081042

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This small handbook of endocrinology, prepared by a Yale internist and a pathologist, summarizes the interrelationship between the anatomical and functional disturbances for each organ. Written mostly on a table once used by Reverend Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), the book is described by the authors as somewhat less clever than Alice in Wonderland. Nevertheless, it does thoroughly outline the important defects in end organ function, emphasizing the dynamic pathologic changes caused by enhanced or inadequate hormone secretion. Diagrams illustrate the fundamental concepts of positive or negative feedback control of endocrine activity by other organs through enzyme release and the ultimate action of the peripheral tissues.

A scheme of biosynthesis of corticosteroids shows which enzyme deficiencies will produce diseases of adrenal function. The most common cause of Addison disease is now primary adrenal atrophy. Cushing syndrome due to autonomous adrenal hyperfunction is distinguished from Cushing disease, which results from pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone