Modern clinical medicine owes its growth and development chiefly to two philosophies of disease. The first of these which today dominates medical thought and practice, is known as the mechanistic; the second, in vogue for only about fifteen or twenty years, is known as the functional point of view. According to the former, any derangement in function of the organs of the body sufficient to cause symptoms and signs of disease must be due to definite change in structure or size of the tissue cells. Famous discoveries in pathology as those by Virchow, epoch-making contributions in biology as those by Darwin, and experimental data collected by such great physiologists as Helmholtz, Bernard, Liebig and Müller made only more pronounced the leaning of the medical profession toward mechanical interpretations of disease.
It is, therefore, not surprising to find the literature on the subject of nutritional disturbances most comprehensive in the description
SEHAM M, SEHAM G. THE RELATION BETWEEN MALNUTRITION AND NERVOUSNESS: PART I. Am J Dis Child. 1929;37(1):1–38. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1929.01930010008001
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