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Poznań, Poland

Grzybowski A.,Poznan City Hospital
Clinics in dermatology | Year: 2012

Corticosteroids, which revolutionized dermatologic therapy a half century ago, owe their beginnings to Tadeusz Reichstein (1897-1996), who was born in Poland but emigrated in 1905 with his family to Switzerland. Between 1934 and 1944, he isolated and elucidated the chemical structure of 29 pure substances from the extract of the adrenal cortex. All of them turned out to be steroid derivatives, including corticosterone and hydrocortisone. In 1950, the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Tadeusz Reichstein, along with Edward Kendall (1886-1972) and Phillip Hench (1896-1965), for their discoveries relating to the hormones of the adrenal cortex, their structures, and their biologic effects. In 1953, Reichstein isolated the pure crystalline form of a substance with a strong effect on electrolyte and water balance--aldosterone. Reichstein was an author or coauthor of 635 papers, the last ones at the age of 97. He described himself as " a Swiss of Polish-Jewish descent," but his scientific achievements made him a world citizen. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Grzybowski A.,Poznan City Hospital
Clinics in dermatology | Year: 2012

Lucja Frey was the first to explain the pathogenesis of the auriculotemporal syndrome, and the syndrome is recognized today as the Frey syndrome. Patients with this disease are subjected to paroxysmal paraesthesia of half of the face combined with sweating and redness. This syndrome can be found in the differential diagnosis of contemporary dermatology. Among others, it is differentiated from food allergies. The life and scientific career of Lucja Frey was brutally interrupted by the tragic times of the Holocaust.

Grzybowski A.,Poznan City Hospital | Grzybowski A.,University of Warmia and Mazury | Pietrzak K.,Poznan University of Medical Sciences
Clinics in Dermatology | Year: 2012

Niels Ryberg Finsen (1860-1904) developed a lamp based on electric carbon arcs (later known as the Finsen light) that was used for skin therapy a century ago. He became director of the Medical Light Institute in Copenhagen, later the Finsen Institute, where he developed this method of treatment. Within a few years, 40 Finsen Institutes were established in Europe and in the United States of America. In 1903, Finsen received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in recognition of his work on the treatment of diseases and, in particular, the treatment of lupus vulgaris by means of concentrated light rays. Finsen's scientific interests were greatly influenced by his health condition. Beginning in 1883, he began to experience symptoms of an illness that would be later diagnosed as Niemann-Pick disease. He spent the last years of his life confined to a wheelchair. Dermatology reaps the benefits of light treatment to this day. © 2012.

In contemporary medicine, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is used to assess severity in patients with such diseases as erysipelas, psoriasis, eosinophilic fasciitis, dermatomyositis, and Behçet's disease. We remember the scientific achievements of a Polish physician, the discoverer of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), Edmund Faustyn Biernacki (1866-1911), on the 100th anniversary of his death. The practical application of ESR in clinical diagnostics in 1897 by Biernacki was little known for many years, because it was often neglected owing to the work of Robert Fåhraeusand Alf Westergren from 1921. In addition, it is also frequently omitted that before Westergren's and Fåhraeus's reports were published, ESR was also noticed by Ludwig Hirschfeld in 1917.

Schmidt D.,Universitats Augenklinik | Grzybowski A.,Poznan City Hospital
Survey of Ophthalmology | Year: 2011

Vincenz Fukala is best known for his technique of discission and linear extraction of the lens in young, highly myopic eyes-the technique adopted by Harold Ridley in preparation for lens implantation in young patients. He was Polish and trained in Vienna under Karl Ferdinand. von Arlt. Fukala practiced first in Pilsen (1889-1894), but returned to Vienna in 1895. He studied trachoma in Egypt in 1872. His research on scrofulous eye disease led him twice to the United States, in 1891 and 1892. Fukala also developed highly successful, pioneering techniques for the treatment of ectropion in blepharitis, of trachoma, and of shallow sockets following enucleation. In glaucoma, he recommended early iridectomy of the fellow eye when the first eye has gone blind. He was also an expert on the history of ancient European texts and of Arabic ophthalmology. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

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