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Some Recent Developments and Trends in Clinical Endocrinology*

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Abstract

THE purpose of this presentation is not to give you endless statistics or to recite details of endocrine therapy which readily can be gathered from any of half a dozen, good, recent, endocrinology textbooks. Rather, I wish to offer you a broad over-all view of developments in the laboratory as well as in the clinic—to gain, if we can, a perspective of the trends — to see where endocrinology seems to be going.

THE HYPOTHALAMUS

For many years it has been clearly recognized that the pituitary function is greatly influenced not only by the function of the other endocrine glands and the over-all nutritional status of the body, but also by the nervous system — especially the hypothalamus. These facts have been pointed up particularly well by the work of Hume1 in this country, and Harris2 in England. Recently, a piece of information has been reported of new, and I think important, experimental work. Slusher and Roberts3 have made extracts from the brain and from the hypothalamus that stimulate the anterior pituitary. One, a lipoid extract from the posterior hypothalamus, when injected produces an ACTH-like effect if the pituitary is intact, but if the animal tested has been hypophysectomized no such effect is seen, thus demonstrating a hormonal stimulation of the anterior pituitary.

THE PITUITARY

Anterior Lobe

The extensive investigations concerning hormones of the anterior lobe of the pituitary continue to be directed toward resolving questions such as: Does ACTH have two components, one which affects growth of the adrenal and . . .


 

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