The Improbable Cure

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What is the regional burden?

Now in her late 60s, my mom flat-out refuses to make menudo. It's a bitch. Even Mexican mamis agree! It was my mom, in fact, who introduced me to Juanita's canned menudo.

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Lured to our family home in Tijuana with the promise of fresh-made menudo, I sat at the kitchen island we always eat at the dinner table is reserved for bags of clothes that need to be returned to Marshall's , and fed myself spoonfuls of menudo. My mom never misses an opportunity for praise, so if you don't provide it immediately she'll ask for it. Yes, I told her, the menudo is dank as hell.

Bravo, madre! You've done it again.

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She then gave me a sly grin and raised her brow. My mom pulled out an empty can of Juanita's from the trash and showed it to me, unveiling her secret. A hot, dark-haired woman I assume Juanita caught mid-cha cha blankly stared at me from the can's yellow label with a big, toothy smile.

Oh, Juanita.

You sly bitch. Juanita's menudo came to be back in , four years after George de la Torre and his nephew, Albert Guerrero, opened a canning company in Wilmington, California. Guerrero's wife Ruth was the family's purveyor of menudo. Her tasty menudo, with its traditional, homestyle flavors, inspired them to can that good stuff and sell it in markets. The rest is canned culinary history.

I was surprised. Our biases tell us if it's a can, it's probably crap. And I admit it's hard to imagine a can filled with beef tripe, hominy, and bright red broth would be edible, let alone delicious.

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I allowed my bias to assume the worst, that it would be disgusting, or have a rat foot in it, or be some bland whitewashed red water. I had little faith, but Juanita handed it to me with sass. Since that day, Juanita's menudo, both rojo and verde, as well as her pozole, are staples of my cupboard, my mom's cupboard, and my siblings' cupboards. He realized that the redness of the eye did not fit into this concept and supposed that the muscles of conjunctival blood vessels were prostrated earlier.

He made a comparison with epilepsy, referring to an article by compatriots Adolf Kussmaul — and Adolph Tenner nk , two physicians often referred to with respect to the reflex theory of epilepsy, who attributed this complaint to changes in cerebral blood supply. With respect to the pathophysiology of epileptic seizures, they adhered to the idea of spasmodic constriction of all cerebral arteries.

In migraine, Du Bois-Reymond argued, the mechanism was basically the same, only the intensity and the extension being different Koehler, Peter Latham — unified both theories not much later and in , the theory resulted in the application of ergot for migraine Koehler and Isler, Another topic that interested researchers throughout the 19th century was that of cerebral localization. However, not everyone was convinced, in particular German researchers who were still reluctant as it had only been based on clinical cases.

Lesion and electrical stimulation experiments thus far had not resulted in any confirmation. They attached greater value to results from experimental—physiological methods that eventually emerged from the electrical stimulation studies by Gustav Fritsch — and Eduard Hitzig [ — , ] and Sir David Ferrier [ — , ]. From his clinical observations and experiments, he concluded that reality was more complex.

With this model, he was able to explain the fact that damage in several locations of the central nervous system may produce the same effect, and, to account for observations that some functions remain unimpaired despite extensive brain injury. A theme that is often found in biographies about researchers of the time is self-experimentation. A well-known example is Henry Head — , who studied cutaneous sensation for which he had one of the radial nerve branches of his left arm severed and sutured by surgeon James Sherren — Subsequently, he investigated recovery by having William Rivers — test the sensory function in the arm over the subsequent 4 years.

The paper was published in one of the early volumes of Brain Rivers and Head, If we think this only happened in the early days of experimental medicine, I call to mind more recent self-experimentations by Barry J. Marshall, who infected himself with Helicobacter pylori as part of a series of studies with J. Mostly, he used experimental animals in his research. The present biography adds important material to previous books and places it in a larger context.

Moreover, Aminoff made his book more accessible to a broader public, explaining terms in the text and providing brief biographical details on persons in footnotes. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.

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Volume Article Contents. An improbable genius? Oxford Academic. Google Scholar. Cite Citation. Permissions Icon Permissions. References Aminoff. Google Preview. Du Bois-Reymond. Search ADS. Brown-sequard and cerebral localization as illustrated by his ideas on aphasia. The early use of ergotamine in migraine. Van Der Weyden. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals. Issue Section:. Download all figures.

In all my years of living like a trash goblin, nothing has saved me more times than Juanita's.

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