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History

It came from the stacks

While moving the dental books and journals we came across several books we’d like to tell everyone about in a series of posts in the continuing saga of “It Came From The Stacks” (insert foreboding music here…)

Our first book is a classic of dentistry from the Dental Library’s Old and Rare Collection.  This over sized book, published in 1844, is by Paul B Goddard and is titled The Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology of the Human Teeth; with the most approved methods of treatment, including operations, and the method of making and setting artifical teeth; with thirty plates, also known as “Goddard on the Teeth”.

Goddard on the Teeth

Goddard on the Teeth

When “Goodard on the Teeth” was published, it was described in a review in American Journal of Medical Sciences as a “practical treatment on the subject of the teeth”.  It is praised by the reviewer: “… the work is got up in the handsomest manner.  The plates are indeed the best specimens of lithography we have seen executed in this country.”  This book contains some remarkable images head and neck anatomy, microscopic structure of teeth. dental equipment, a four step pictorial description of extracting teeth using a key, and various forms of artificial teeth and plates, among others.

Goddard plate

This is a very interesting book that is exemplary of the beginnings of modern dentistry.  If you would like to take a look at it in person, please contact the Dental Library and make arrangements to come see it.  We’d love to share our old and rare treasures with you.

New Carville Leprosarium Video

The AOL education series, What Remains has released a new video (less than 5 minutes) on the National Hansen’s Disease Center Museum in Carville, Louisiana. The video was filmed in December 2013.

The Libraries partnered with the Hansens’ Disease Museum in 2011 to digitize the patient newsletter, the Star to make it more widely available to researchers.

Happy Belated Birthday, Andeas Vesalius

Page 164 of Andreas Vesalius: De corporis humani fabrica libri septem

 

We missed the 499th birthday?áof Andreas Vesalius who was born on December 31, 1514. 500th year?ácelebrations of the man and his accomplishments are in the works.

The LSUHSC Libraries is lucky enough to own a 1568 edition?áof his De humani corporis fabrica libri septem which is housed in the Isch?® Library Rare Books Room (and is available by appointment only). The first edition of this title is from 1543.

For more information, see this post from NLM’s Circulating Now blog.

Also, you can view the digitized?á1543 edition of De humani corporis fabrica libri septemat the NLM’s Historical Anatomies on the Web?ápage.

 

Civil War Medicine Exhibit Moves to the Dental Library

The “Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine” exhibit from the National Library of Medicine has moved to the Dental Library and will be available for viewing ?áuntil October 18.

The Library resources tie-ins are also displayed at the Dental Library. These items include exhibit brochures, circulating books, and excerpts from the Reserve and Reference collections.

Helpful links and educational resources provided by the National Library of Medicine in conjunction with the exhibit include?álesson plans?áfor upper elementary and high school classes, a?áhigher education module?áwith instructor resources,?áonline activities, and a?ábibliography?áof additional readings.

Be sure to stop in and get a taste of history!

Dental Library hours are Sunday: 11:30 am – 8:00 pm,?áMonday through Thursday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm, and?áFriday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. The Library is closed on Saturdays.

This Month in History: Putting Mind over Matter

Ever been hypnotized? While it may not make you cluck like a chicken, as an alternative therapy, medical hypnosis might help you manage and overcome a number of physical and mental conditions. In the fall of 1959, a few brave medical students were willing to put their bodies and minds at the mercy of LSU Medical School Professor of psychiatry Dr. Carl L. Davis for the purpose of studying the viability of hypnotherapy. Later, the students would be given the opportunity to reverse the stakes and hypnotize Dr. Davis in the spirit of fairness.

The American Medical Association officially backed medical hypnosis for wide use in 1958, though they cautioned against using the method as a form of entertainment and in cases of severe psychological illness. At that time, medical and dental practices used hypnotherapy as a form of anesthesia and in the management of pain. Other fields of medicine that have found use for hypnotherapeutic procedure include dermatology, gastroenterology, cardiology, obstetrics, oncology, post-surgery recovery, and even in the treatment of smoking addiction, eating disorders, and psychosomatic illness through age regression.

While many remain skeptical about the efficacy of hypnotherapy, it is true that more research and standardization of practice will provide insight into the relative benefits and risks of its usage. Dangers to the patient and the doctor are a considerable cause for concern. The mind, being a vast and complex entity, requires a delicate but firm touch. Hypnotism provides the therapist with the ability to wield the power of suggestion over the patient, and so puts the receptive patient in a vulnerable position. For this reason, the move toward more holistic treatment of the individual is vital in addressing his or her needs.

A 1959 Times-Picayune article relates the case of a man who developed asthma every time his mother-in-law would announce her intention to visitÔÇöÔÇ£This man just cannot understand why this would happen since he honestly believes he is fond of [her].ÔÇØ This is an example of a symptom that could possibly benefit from hypnotherapy (or else a nice, long vacation).

Accounts of hypnotism can turn grim, however. In another instance, a patient suffering from self-destructive tendencies developed paralysis in one of her fingers. She was referred to a hypnotist, who alleviated the symptom without addressing the underlying psychological turmoil. Upon release, the woman promptly employed her newly-flexible trigger finger in one final act of self-harm. This is an extreme example, but speaks to the necessity of treating the patient as a whole and of recognizing links between physical and mental manifestations of illness.

The prominent physicians mentioned in these newspaper articles were Professors of psychiatry at LSU Medical School: Dr. Carl L. Davis, Dr. Lucio Gatto, and Dr. Charles Watkins, who also served as the Head of the department. All of them make a few appearances in our Digital Collections as subject and even creator. Dr. Davis appears for his addresses on teen drinking and middle-age rebellion. Dr. Gatto appears for his study on compulsive borrowing. Dr. Watkins is the most prolific figure for his interest in the history of the U. S. Army 64th General Hospital, which has its own Collection, as well as for his medical-cultural mission to Central America, and his role in the care (and commitment) of former Governor Earl K. Long.

Now a far cry from its historic roots in mesmerism and animal magnetism, the current practice of medical hypnosis can be aligned more closely with deep meditation and positive thinking, the power of which is widely acknowledged by doctors and patients alike.

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.

 

1921 Cancer Prevention Film Digitized by NLM

Quack Cure Refuted!

 

Summer 2013 saw the launch of a new digital collection from the National Library of Medicine, Medical Movies on the Web. The first item added to this collection is the Reward of Courage which is a silent film produced by the American Society for the Control of Cancer (which would become the ?áAmerican Cancer Society). Read more about the film at Circulating Now, an informational website from the History of Medicine Division of NLM.

 

As of this moment, the collection only includes 4 titles, but one of them is directed by and stars Gene Kelly! The 1945 Combat Fatigue Irritability?áis just over 35 minutes long. Despite it’s matter of fact name, the NLM information?ásays it “is one of the best military productions of the war. It features a good script, score, editing, direction, and superb acting by an uncredited cast…”

 

Ever Heard of Waterloo Teeth?

Like every profession, dentistry has had its share of challenges and somewhat unappealing methods.

During the 18th and 19th centuries the reputation of dentistry was challenged by the demand for dental prosthesis and the practice of recycling teeth became popular. It hit its highest level of prominence after the Battle at Waterloo.

When artificial materials (like mineral teeth or dentures carved out of ivory or bone) proved to be ineffective for chewing and even talking, people would use teeth extracted from animals, executed criminals and unearthed bodies for dentures.

One of the most well-known events that provided teeth for functional dentures was the Battle of Waterloo which took place on June 18, 1815. Armies lead by Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington fought against each other. After the battle was done, scavengers robbed the dead soldiers of all commodities, including their teeth.

 

Dentist would buy those teeth to create dentures. The dentures that were made with the teeth of the soldiers that died in the Battle of Waterloo came to be known as ÔÇ£Waterloo teethÔÇØ.

Photo Credit:Phisick Medical Antiques

Obtaining human teeth was frequently associated with a grotesque activity known as resurrectionism (or grave robbing).

?áResurrectionist would sometimes even kill beggars, drifters and prostitutes to get paid for providing corpses to medical schools for dissection. And when a body would be too decomposed to be sold to the medical schools they would sell the teeth.

Although grave robbers may have been heartless, the ingenuity and effort of the dentist during that era is none short of fascinating.

 

This Month in History: Don’t Just Grin and Bear It

“A woman’s first responsibility is to make an effort to do what she wants to do.” –sage advice?áfrom?áDr. Winston Weese, Emeritus Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at LSU Medical School

You never know what you will chance upon when you browse the LibraryÔÇÖs Newspaper Clippings Collection. Trolling for this monthÔÇÖs topic took me on a journey through various strange perspectives on womenÔÇÖs health.

In 1959, convention speakers discussed ÔÇ£gyno-psychiatry,ÔÇØ ÔÇ£a very basic and superficial type of psychiatry [that] is primarily reassurance. Sometimes a woman is infertile because she believes her husband does not love her. Or vice versa. What we are trying to do today is to make the infertile woman realize that help is possible: that they donÔÇÖt have to just grin and bear it.ÔÇØ One article from 1961 blames men for womenÔÇÖs anxieties: ÔÇ£The American man isnÔÇÖt asserting his male dominance.ÔÇØ The piece is full of quotable gems like, ÔÇ£The wise woman of course, vocally credits her husband with leadership even when he does not have itÔÇØ and ÔÇ£boosts her husbandÔÇÖs ego even though she may be far superior to him in intelligence.ÔÇØ

Some answered the call for by entering the medical field.?áIn 1931, The Southern Medical Association fielded questions about the rise of women as doctors. At the time, women doctors still combated some suppositions about their patients: ÔÇ£Why should they be all women?ÔÇØ and about their personhood with ÔÇ£frequent assertions that such professions as social work and medicine destroy many of the gentler attributes of the feminine nature.ÔÇØ One of the doctors interviewed was the remarkable Dr. Moss of New Orleans, who said, ÔÇ£ThatÔÇÖs a lot of foolishness on the part of people who donÔÇÖt know us.ÔÇØ

Dr. Emma Sadler Moss rejected a teaching career because she was ÔÇ£not gentle enoughÔÇØ and stood as is a?áshining example?áof a woman doing what she wants. She brushed aside the hackneyed image of the young, gentle Southern woman, preferring the allure of the medical profession, where she excelled. After a stint as a medical technologist, Dr. Moss studied for her M. D., which she earned in 1935 from LSU. From there, she earned the title of Director of Pathology at Charity Hospital, clinical professor of pathology at LSU Medical School, and President of the American Society of Clinical Pathology (notably, the first woman President of the society).

Dr. MossÔÇÖ commitment to these institutions lasted for over thirty years until her death in 1970. She received numerous awards for her work in pathology including being recognized as the 1954 Medical Woman of the Year and as one of ÔÇ£The Six Most Successful Women of 1955.ÔÇØ The Library owns two editions of her lauded text, An Atlas of Medical Mycology, which she co-authored with Dr. Albert Louis McQuown. A full listing of her contributions to LSU Medical School and Charity Hospital can be viewed in A History of LSU School of Medicine New Orleans.

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the?áLouisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.

Rowena Spencer at age 91

Retired faculty member Rowena Spencer is back in the American Medical Student Association blog, On Call, on the occasion of her 91st birthday which will be July 3rd.

This Month in History: The Truth and Community Water Fluoridation

We learned from childhood that if you give a mouse a cookie heÔÇÖs going to want a glass of milk. It is lesser known, however, whether an increase in milk consumption in the general rodent population is directly caused by rampant cookie consumption among mice. Correlation does not necessarily indicate causation.?á A similar logical fallacy comes from one member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster who claims that there exists ÔÇ£a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature;ÔÇØ therefore, according to him, more piracy will decrease global temperature and the number of natural disasters. These examples, though silly, illustrate the importance of scientific research in drawing causation in an uncontrolled environment and in distinguishing between folklore, coincidence, and the truth.

One such truth-seeking project involves public health and is the source of long-standing controversyÔÇöthe issue: community water fluoridation (CWF). Beginning in 1954 in New Orleans, a committee of health professionals convened to address CWF. The committee consisted of several area doctors including LSU Medical CenterÔÇÖs Dr. Russell Holman, who served as Professor and Head of the Pathology Department from 1946 until his death in 1960. An article from the New Orleans Item in 1955 describes the committee as divided and unsure with the exception of Dr. Holman, who planted his support firmly on the side of fluoridation. A final decision was made in 1957 to veto CWF due to a need for further study.

Articles within the past few years on nola.com address CWF in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina as being a lack of supply. Now it appears that fluoride has been returned to our water. A 2010 Sewage and Water Board of New Orleans report defines fluoridation as a way ÔÇ£to prevent tooth decay.ÔÇØ Later in the same report, fluoride is defined as a ÔÇ£contaminantÔÇØ: its presence on average .8ppm on the East Bank and .81ppm on the West Bank. Likely sources are listed as ÔÇ£erosion of natural deposits; water additive which promotes strong teeth; discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories.ÔÇØ

Though the addition of fluoride to the nation’s drinking water has become common practice, the matter of its efficacy is still unresolved. In weighing the risks and benefits of CWF, the exact nature of correlation between improvements and harm to the publicÔÇÖs dental health remains unclear. Proponents of community health attempt to account for socioeconomic factors, access to dental care, pyorrhea and periodontal concerns in children and adults, as well as fluorosis, a cosmetic issue caused by over-fluoridation.

The CDC has called water fluoridation ÔÇ£one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century,ÔÇØ and in 2010, the center’s statistics show the percentage of the U.S. population receiving fluoridated water at 66.2%. Perhaps we ought to take a cue from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster: take to sea, forget dental care, and go marauding!

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.?á

This Month in History: Enjoy Rabbits Playing Piano

A brief interlude for your busy day: Harvey the virtuoso rabbit and her YouTube accompaniment, Elissa watch?v=0NzN8ksnJhA.

As you might have guessed, rabbits are not particularly adept at playing the piano (certainly not as well-attuned as a famous piano-playing cat, Nora: most-outrageous-piano-playing-cat.htm). In an attempt to challenge unfair bunny stereotypes, Dr. Waid H. Dean, Instructor of Physiology at LSU Medical School, chose Harvey to prove the musical worth of her species.

Though Dr. Dean openly admits “there is no scientific purpose to this demonstration”?á in a 1958 Times-Picayune article, he says the rabbit’s performance “is merely to demonstrate that animals can be trained to respond to signals.” As with many high-achieving parents, Dr. Dean is not easy to please and expects the best from his tiny Leporidaean maestro. Harvey cannot live up to expectations, however–quickly tiring out after a couple of notes and anxious for her next treat. Though she may not be 6 feet 3 inches tall like another famous Harvey, she is decidedly more cuddly.

On that note, Happy Spring from the staff at John P. Ische Library!

This Month in History: The Alligator Men

As a Louisiana native or even an adventurous visitor, youÔÇÖve probably fed an alligator a marshmallow or two. WhatÔÇÖs the allure of marshmallows to a wild swamp creature? We may never truly know, but for an animal that will scarf down turtle shells, rocks, lures, beer cans, and shoes, marshmallows are probably the least of its worries.

Profiled in the Times-Picayune for their project in 1951, the self-proclaimed LSU “alligator men” studied the production of acid gastric juice and self-induced hibernation in alligators, as compared to iguanas and chameleons. The stars of this ÔÇ£zooÔÇØ were Dr. Roland Coulson, LSUMC faculty (1944-2004), Dr. Thomas Hernandez, LSUMC faculty (1960-1977) and Chair of Pharmacology, Dr. Fred G. Brazda, LSUMC faculty (1939-1977) and Chair of Biochemistry, and their graduate student, Dr. Herbert C. Dessauer. In the preface of a later work, Alligator Metabolism, Coulson and Hernandez speak to the origin of their honorary titles”: “It is not possible to have done research on alligators for many years without having gained a reputation for eccentricity as a consequence of the choice of experimental animal. One accepts this and learns to live with it. [...] By some, an alligator man is tolerated (as a harmless eccentric should be), and by others he is admired for the fearless manner in which he confronts such a ‘terrifying’ beast.”

Though certainly fearless, these doctors chose smaller gators to reduce the risk of injury, and by the time the animals reached a rowdy 20 pounds, they were returned to the swamp. Because alligators produce a large amount of hydrochloric acid during digestion, they perform a more dramatic and more readily observable process of digestion. Alligators are also tougher physically and less prone to blood poisoning, making them easier to study. In addition to their excellent acid production, the test gators self-induced a sort of hibernation in winter despite the fact that researchers kept them in windowless rooms with automatic lights; by abstaining from food and decreasing sugar in the bloodstream, the test subjects did not grow.

The practical application of the research of the “alligator men” may not seem readily apparent, but as Dr. Coulson explains in the newspaper article, ÔÇ£The scientist doesnÔÇÖt have to be working toward the cure of any specific malady [ÔǪ] but often he stumbles upon it by accident, through just a study as ours.ÔÇØ They developed enough material to write numerous journal articles (PubMed author search results hyperlinked above) and monographs. Two books co-authored by Dr. Coulson and Dr. Hernandez are available in the Library: Alligator Metabolism: Studies on Chemical Reactions in Vivo and Biochemistry of the Alligator: A Study of Metabolism in Slow Motion.

Dr. Herbert Dessauer, who began as a humble graduate student and would go on to become Professor Emeritus of molecular biology at LSU Medical Center, passed away earlier this month after a brief illness. We would like to recognize his contributions to not only the scientific community, but also to LSU.?á For more information on the contributions of each of the renowned doctors mentioned in this post, please consult A History of LSU School of Medicine New Orleans, which is available in the Library. When you stop by, be sure to check out our display cases, which are home to various medical artifacts including an analytical balance used by Coulson, Hernandez, and Dessauer.

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.

This Month in History: A Nation of Neurotics

In America, methods of care for our mentally ill have become intertwined with the politics of universal healthcare, hospital administration, and prevention of violent crime, all of which suffer under an increasingly budget-cut government. This issue is not a new one, however. The Newspaper Clippings Digital Collection of the Isch?® Library shows an emerging pattern: a pattern of need. Hospitals and treatment centers need enough beds for psychiatric patients; hospitals need staff to treat those patients; police officers, clergy, and even the general public need training to assess and assist the mentally ill.

Linkages of mental illness and criminal tendencies also surface. In recent news, LSU psychiatrist Dr. Jose Calderon-Abbo joined the vice presidentÔÇÖs task force on gun violence; he has also partnered up with Tulane public health criminology expert Dr. Peter Scarf to present a paper of similar topic to the House Subcommittee on Crime, terrorism, and Homeland Security at a hearing on The Youth Promise act.

Not only do mental illness and crime sometimes occur simultaneously, but those charged with apprehending the mentally ill are often the same people who apprehend criminals.?á One of our newspaper clippings from 1961, entitled ÔÇ£How Police Can Help Mentally Ill,ÔÇØ addresses the need for officers of the law to be properly trained on how to interact with, assess urgency of treatment for, and detain suspects who appear to be suffering from illness, loss of competency, or loss of sanity.

The clergy are often called upon to assist the mentally ill; one article, ÔÇ£Help of Clergy Asked by Many: Role of Churchmen for Mentally Ill Cited,ÔÇØ explains how the clergy ought to be well versed in tactics to understand and aid their congregations. Examples of tactics used to interact with those in need in the include: a manual from 1954 ÔÇ£How to Recognize and Handle Abnormal PeopleÔÇØ by Robert A. Matthews and Loyd W. Rowland, former director of the Louisiana Association for mental health and former Head of the department of psychiatry and neurology, ?áin addition to a 1960 New Orleans officer training film, ÔÇ£Booked for Safekeeping,ÔÇØ produced by George C. Stoney.

In 1961, the name of the game was “expedite”: complex legislature required the approval of a hospital director, an order of commitment signed by the coroner, a psychiatrist, and a responsible party, and approval from a civil judge. Convoluted commitment laws and lack of funding for psychiatric facilities and staff were concerns at this time, but these concerns continue today as the Greater New Orleans area loses beds at Charity Hospital and MandevilleÔÇÖs Southeast Louisiana Hospital.

In the words of Dr. Robert A. Matthews, former head of the department of neuropsychiatry at LSUHSC from 1950-1957, ÔÇ£While we are passing the hat around for money to fight polio, heart disease, cancer, tuberculosis and other maladies, we ought also to be financing some exploration in to the cause and cure of emotional storms and mental defectiveness. We are fast becoming a nation of neurotic people.ÔÇØ

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.

2,000-year-old Medicine Discovered in a Shipwreck

Would you trust a medicine that’s been under water for a couple of millennia??áAn early edition article (and a link straight to the PDF) in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences analyzes tablets found in a sealed container that was part of the material recovered from the a wreck in the Mediterranean sea off the coast of Tuscany in Italy. The abstract for the article states, “The composition and the form of the Pozzino tablets seem to indicate that they were used for ophthalmic purposes.”

The article is certainly generating a lot of press, from Wired to the Smithsonian to the BBC?áto the Washington Post.

Link to the pdf of the article is available to LSUHSC faculty, staff & students. It can be accessed off-campus with a valid LSUHSC library barcode & PIN. You can find more information at our remote access webpage.

Cool Find: 1937 footage of “old Charity” torn down

Our colleagues at the Matas Library of the Health Sciences, Tulane Univerity uploaded 6 minutes of footage from 1937, filmed by Richard G. Holcombe when he was an intern, of the fifth Charity Hospital’s demolition. It was constructed in 1833 and was in use for over 100 years until the construction of “Big Charity.”

The footage was conserved in 2004 and does not include audio.

 

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