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April 6, 1984

Treatment of Hyperthyroidism

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Section of Endocrinology, University of Chicago.

JAMA. 1984;251(13):1747-1748. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340370079037

The story of the development of antithyroid drugs, which reached its climax with the publication of "Treatment of Hyperthyroidism With Thiourea and Thiouracil,"1 is an early example of the sort of research that has transformed clinical science into the most explosive branch of biology. As far as one can tell from the published literature, Astwood, a reproductive endocrinologist, had not directed his research efforts to the control of the thyroid before publication of the articles to be mentioned. One must assume, however, that as a clinician, he dealt with hyperthyroidism and longed for a more effective way of managing the disease. It must have been so, for when he became aware of several available, relatively safe chemical goitrogens, he certainly grasped their potential clinical importance and ran.

First Goitrogens  In 1941, Julia and C. G. MacKenzie and E. V. McCollum,2 from the School of Hygiene and Public Health