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December 1916


Author Affiliations

Attending Physician to the Central and Neurological Hospital NEW YORK
From the Neurological Division of the Mount Sinai Hospital Dispensary.

Am J Dis Child. 1916;XII(6):597-601. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1916.04110180059004

For centuries the pituitary gland has been one of the most mysterious structures of the humanbody; some have considered it the seat of the soul, others have looked on it as a rudimentary organ, while most physiologists have confessed total ignorance as to its functions in the human economy. The discovery in 1886 by Pierre Marie of the association of changes in the structure of this gland with acromegaly has stimulated further and detailed studies of the physiology of the epiphysis, and it was found that it is endowed with a number of vital functions, such as regulation of blood pressure, contraction of smooth muscle, particularly the uterus; the sexual functions, and the growth of connective tissue and of the skeleton. Moreover, it was found that the pituitary has a great influence on the mentality of its possessor.

Among the pioneers in the study of the physiology of the pituitary