European Curiosity

Even ancient scientists assumed that some “influence* is trans­ferred via nerves – from the brain to muscles and from the sense organs to the brain. 
Italian doctor and scientist L. Galvani while conducting experi­ments with a frog paw, on 26 September 1786, discovered «the animal energy* and marked the beginning of electrobiology. He hypothesized that paralysis may be connected with the disturbed nerve isolation and epilepsy, with a heavy electric discharge in the brain. «…ln the future, I will apply all efforts for development of the new direction in medicine — electromedicine», wrote L. Galvani («Tractate on Force of Electricity at Muscular Movements*, 1791). 
1796 — Italian physicist Alessandro Volta discovered the Volta effect and chemical sources of current. «Can it (electric fluid) be the reason of all sensations (except for the tongue) in other sense organs?*, he thought. 
1784-1812 — Czech scientist I.Prokhaska introduced into physiology a notion of some nerve force which is transferred via nerve fibers at the body exposure to the “Stimulation matters* and term «reflex» for designation of the reaction of the body which ap­pears in response to the action of this stimulus. The force of this reaction corresponds to the force of the stimuls. As distinct from R. Descartes, he believed that the reflex act may appear not only due to the effect of external stimuli but also due to the effect of internal ones. 
1811-1822 — the Bell-Magendie’s law was formulated (Ch. Bell, Scotland, F. Magendie, France). The authors showed that sen­sitive nerve (afferent) fibers are introduced into the spinal cord as part of dorsal root of spinal nerve, whereas motor nerve (efferent) fibers go out of the spinal cord as part of ventral roots of the spinal nerve. 
1827 — physicist LNobili from Florence registered for the first time the potential difference across various points of the frog’s body. 
1843-1848 — professor Du Bois-Reymond (Berlin) discovered the current of injury in the nerve (rest potential), discovered the potential difference between the outer and inner surfaces of the frog’s skin, described the threshold force of stimulation, relative and absolute refractory period. 
1850 — M.Holl (Great Britain) suggested and justified the term «reflex arch* and applied this phenomenon in a clinic. 
1850 — professor of physiology of Koenigsberg University G. Helmholz measured experimentally the speed of spread of stim­ulation via the nerve. 
1853 — physiologist K. Bernard (France) discovered the role of the sympathetic nervous system in regulation of lumen of ves­sels. 1863 — well-known Russian scientist I.M.Sechenov in his pa­per “Reflexes of the Brain* developed the idea about the unity of the body and environment, strict causality of all aspects of the mental activity, continuity of physiological and psychological mat­ters. He laid the groundwork for the evolutionary interpretation of physiological functions: “influence on organisms of the environ­ment they live in, of conditions of their existence, to be more pre-cise» to which they should adapt and which«.. .are dynamics of the evolution, including the nervous system». I.M.Sechenov discov­ered phenomena of the central inhibition. 
1866 — German anatomist M.Schultz discovered for the first time the exteroreceptor (photoreceptor of birds). 
1875-1876 — scientists V.Ya.Danilevsky (Russia) and Keton (Great Britain) discovered independently the evoked potential of the brain. 
1878 — academician K. Bernard (France) put forward a con­cept about maintenance of the stability of the internal environment at any fluctuations of the external environment «as a condition of free and independent life». 
1879-1936 — academician I.P.Pavlov, great Russian physiolo­gist, deals in development of the doctrine of conditioned reflexes. He believed that the higher nervous activity is based on several innate reflexes of vital importance and these reflexes represent the genetically assigned inherited experience of regulation. However, unconditioned reflexes can ensure adaptation of the body to out­ward things only at the absolute stability of the environment. 
Based on unconditioned reflexes, during one’s life conditioned reflexes may develop which represent reflexes of a higher rank. Conditioned reflexes are not predetermined by the inborn struc­ture of nervous bonds but are formed during an individual life of a body in higher parts of the brain. 
Generation of conditioned reflexes represents restructuring of relations between nerve centers due to which these relations start reflect the real interaction between factors of the environment which, in turn, creates the possibility for more perfect adaptation of the organism to this environment. 
The response of the body to the external stimulus is determined by interaction of processes of stimulation and inhibition. 
1882 — famous Russian physiologist N.E.Vvedensky started studying the electric activity of human muscles 1884 — S. Ramon y Cajal (Spain) was among the first to justify a doctrine about the neuron as a morphological unit of the ner­vous system. 
1889-1893 — Russian therapeutist G.A.Zakharin and English neuropathologist G.Head described certain zones of the skin in which the reflected pain as well as pain and temperature hyperes-thesia often take place. 
1902 — Physiologist J.Bernstein (Berlin) founded «the mem­brane theory of biopotentials» and showed that electricity is always present in the living cell. 
1905 — Physiologist Ch. Sherrington (Great Britain) developed a doctrine about human receptive fields, divided receptors into exteroreceptors, interoreceptors and proprioreceptors, formulat­ed one of the main concepts of work of the nervous system – the concept of common tract. He showed qualitative predominance of afferent conductive tracts over efferent ones, introduced the no­tion of the integrative activity of the nervous system, the notion about the synapse as a mechanism of the interneuron bond, con­sidered the reflex as an elementary functional unit of the nervous activity and suggested principles of integration of the reflex at the level of the spinal cord. 
1910 — J.Bernstein and L.German (Berlin) for the first time de­scribed the nerve pulse, or «the traveling potential of the activity*. 
1912 — French doctor G.Yavorsky suggested the term «reflexo-therapy» which united different manipulation treatments based on stimulation of one’s body’s surface certain zones rich in nerve end­ings. This term is widely used nowadays, though it does reflect ful­ly the essence of a number of diagnostic, therapeutical and pre­ventive methods included in it. 
1915 — American physiologist W.Kennon showed that laid in the basis of a number of emotional states are physiological pro­cesses which express themselves by reflex excitation of splanch­nic nerves, intense discharge by adrenals of adrenalin into blood and by manifestation of a number of adaptive responses (increase in blood pressure and the level of sugar in blood, activation of me­tabolism, etc.). 1920 — English physiologist G.Dale and pharmacist O.Levy proved a hypothesis about the chemical nature of the transfer of the nerve pulse via synapses, i.e. justified the concept of synaptic transfer of information.

  1. — German psychiatrist G. Berger for the first time started
    studying the electric activity of the human brain.
  2. — German physiologist G.Frikke showed that the cell
    membrane behaves experimentally as parallel resistance and ca­
    pacity, i.e. found the equivalent electric diagram of the human cell

1927 — professor W.Kennon was among the first who intro­duced in physiology the notion «self-regulation», designed a doc­trine about homeostasis as the ability of the body to maintain the stability of the internal environment. 
1930 — Russian pathologist academician A.D.Speransky put forward a concept about the nervous system as the leading chain in mechanisms of a disease, recovery and compensation of im­pairment of functions of the organism, discovered the common nature of nonspecific reactions of the nervous system at the effect of various pathogenic irritants and indicated the necessity of de­veloping a theory of the medicine which would reveal major regu­larities of pathologic processes from the position of the leading role of the nervous system in rubbing of integral reactions of the organism.

1935 — academician P.K.Anokhin developed a universal theo­ry about functional systems of the body as the basis for the brain organization of a physiological act. Any functional system repre­sents a complex dynamic self-regulating organization of different organs and tissues which include a number of stages: afferent syn­thesis, decision making, acceptor of the result of an action, etc. Of principle component of the system is availability of permanent back afferentation from the results of the action to nerve centers which form this action. Due to this afferentation, in case of mismatch between the expected and realistic result, restructuring of the ner­vous act takes place. The purpose of any functional system is cre­ation of qualitatively outlined adjusting effect. As distinct from the classic physiology which studies mechanisms of vital functions of single organs and dynamics of their work, physiology of functional systems studies the organism as a set of system organizations in their development and interrelation. 
1936 — Canadian pathologist professor G.Selye formulated concepts of adaptation local syndrome, general adaptation syn­drome and stress which represent the nonspecific adaptive reac­tion of the body in response to the effect of strong injured factors and into which participation of the endocrine systems of the or­ganism is compulsory. It was showed that qualitative or quantita­tive inadequacy of adaptation syndromes results in the so-called adaptation diseases.

  1. — academicians V.N.Chernigovsky and K.M.Bykov de­
    veloped a doctrine on the visceral, or interroreceptive sensor sys­
    tem of the body and applied the reflex and conditioned-reflex prin­
    ciple to regulation of the activity of internal organs.
  2. — British researchers A. Hodking and Huxley experimen­
    tally and with the use of mathematical modeling proved the deci­
    sive role of the nervous fiber membrane in appearance of the rest
  1. — British scientist P.Mitchel justified the science bioen-
    ergetics. He developed a theory which explains a mechanism of
    transformation of the food into the electric energy which is spent
    for generation of adenosine triphosphate.
  2. — British scientist Lissmann proved the existence of elec-
    troreceptors. The transfer of the nerve pulse is connected with
    energy processes, however, the essence of the pulse is in the trans­
    fer of information from the cell to the cell.

1975 — J.Somien discovered a method of coding information in the sensor system (receptors) of a man. 
1975 — Russian scientists LKh. Garkavi, M.A. Ukolovaand E.B. Kvakina established that there exist anti-stress adaptation reac­tions of training and activation (calm and increased). These reac­tions enhance non-specific resistance of the human body to any damaging factors of the internal or external environment without energy losses in functional systems of the body (Discovery No. 158, State register of the USSR for inventions and discoveries). 
1980 — Russian pathophysiologist academician G.N.Kryzhanovsky defined a theory of triggering generating mechanisms of neuropathologic syndromes. Disturbance of regulatory functions of the nerve system causes disagreement in functional systems of the body. Each link of such disagreed system may trig­ger the new however pathologic functional system and result in changes in both correlation and levels of functioning of the domi­nant, determinant and anti-systems. 
At the end of 70s of 20 century, in the USSR, a team of authors designed, as part of a medical program of the Center of Aerospace Flights, the new unique apparatus of controlling of the internal en­vironment of the human body called Self-Controlled Electric Neu-roadaptive Regulator (SCENAR). This apparatus is intended for influencing acupuncture zones. Its application ensures non-inva-siveness and safety of acupressure. The interface with body con­trolling systems takes place using the same language of the body with the help of neuron-like (physiologic for the human body) low-frequency electric pulse with back afferentation («electric talk» is perceived by all cells, all receprtors). The apparatus was tested in subdivisions of Russian military and industrial complex. Plans ex­isted to use it in aerospace complexes like, for example, «Buran»…

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