Medicine and Evolution: Current Applications, Future Prospects

1st Edition

Sarah Elton, Paul O'Higgins

CRC Press
Published June 2, 2008
Reference - 320 Pages - 29 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781420051346 - CAT# 51342
Series: Society for the Study of Human Biology

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Summary

Can an evolutionary perspective be integrated in day-to-day practice and is it of value in medical education and training? If so, when and how? Highlighting exciting areas of research into the evolutionary basis of health and disease, Medicine and Evolution: Current Applications and Future Prospects answers these questions and more. It draws on work from anthropologists, life scientists, and clinicians to provide a multidisciplinary perspective. Contributors emphasize practical applications and address how their work may inform clinical practice and medical education. They consider when evolutionary viewpoints might and might not be useful and conduct critical debates on controversial areas such as race-based pharmaceuticals.

Presenting new data and weighing relevant evidence, the book introduces novel viewpoints on nutrition, diabetes, fertility, pediatrics, immune response, and psychiatry. The book brings anthropologically sophisticated, evidence-based discussions to common beliefs such as the role decreased parasite load plays in increasing vulnerability to certain diseases, variations in human environments and human adaptability, daily protein requirements, reasons for early pregnancy loss, and optimal mother-infant sleeping arrangements, as well as fresh ideas about syndromes as diverse as delusions and polycystic ovary syndrome.

A critical assessment of evolutionary medicine and its potential to unlock the mysteries behind some of today’s most baffling chronic diseases, this book provides physicians with a more accurate view of the body and a better ability to assess health and disease.

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