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Stress and Cellular Function by H. Laborit (review)
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multiple-author volumes dealing with many facets ofa disease and detract little from the over-all value ofthe book. It is gratifying that toe work is rounded out in a concluding chapter by the editor on hypoglycemia. The varied materialin the book will appeal to an audience with a broad range ofinterests in diabetes, from the purely clinical to the purely investigative. For readers with investigative interests, frequent revisions will be necessary. Appreciation of the entire volume requires at least moderate scientific sophistication in the field of diabetes; but this can be said of any broadly conceived medical work because, after all, modern medicine is sophisticated. Randall G. Spragub Mayo Clinic Stress and Cellular Function. By H. Laborit. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1959. Pp. CÌ+2J5. $7.50. The author, undoubtedly the leading proponent of artificial hibernation as a therapeutic procedure, outlines the theoretic basis for this type oftreatment. While others have explored the subject ofstress mainly from the endocrine point of view, Laborit and his associates were primarily interested in elucidating the part played by thenervous and cardiovascular systems. Inessence, he defends the thesisthat, particularly during acute stress, many vital processes depend largely upon the ionization ofhydrogen , which exerts an important influence upon vasomotor phenomena. Laborit emphasizes the relationships between the "lytic cocktails" used in connection with artificialhibernation and the tranquilizers as used in psychiatry. Indeed, the present volume is merely regarded as the first ofa series presented from the surgeon's point of view. The author promises to describe the specific application of his concepts to other specialties, particularly neuropsychiatry, in a subsequent volume. "To our mind, no progress in psychiatry can be hoped for in any other way than through a painstaking search, not only for general biologic disturbances, but also for the neurobiologie disturbances which partlyaccompany and determine the psychoses. Furthermore, even as we have striven to think intermsofthe "cell" byplacingit inits organiccontextwhich itself is part ofthe external environment, we feel that it might prove fruitful in psychiatry to consider the psychic autoregulation ofthe individual in his environment." The volume contains an extensive bibliography, many instructive tables and drawings, and practical suggestions as well concerning the use of hypothermia and resuscitation techniques in clinical medicine. Unfortunately, the extraordinarily extensive material and the complex hypothetic considerations described in this book do not lend themselves to succinct presentation in the form of a review. However, all those interested in this promising new field ofpharmacology will find the study ofthis monograph rewarding. Hans Selye Institut de Médecine et de Chirurgie expérimentales Université de Montréal 267 ...