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.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Environments, Adaptation, and Evolutionary Medicine, Should We Be Eating a Stone Age Diet? Human Protein Requirements and Infection Stress among Young Children at the Origins of Agriculture. Evolutionary Perspectives on Type 2 Diabetes in Asia, Seasonality. Climatic Unpredictability, Food Deprivation, and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Evolution and Endocrinology, The Regulation of Pregnancy Outcomes. Evolutionary Paediatrics, A Case Study in Applying Darwinian Medicine. The Role of Helminthes in Human Evolution, Implications for Global Health in the 21st Century. Nonbizarre Delusions as Strategic Deception. Practical Aspects of Evolutionary Medicine. Comparative and Evolutionary Biology in Medical and Dental Education. Is There a Place for Evolutionary Medicine in UK Medical Education? Would Darwin Recognize Himself Here? Index.
Sarah Elton, Paul O’Higgins