Home
Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker
Mary LaskerMary Lasker
Photo Gallery
Transcript

Part:         Session:         Page of 1143

layman in organizing the Infantile Paralysis Foundation and to the breakthroughs that were made by Enders and especially by Salk, who is certainly a great man in the whole field and who is probably going on to do other important work in medical problems, the death rate due to polio is practically zero in the United States. It never was a large problem but it was a large problem as a crippler, and a distressing one. And the incidence of it is practically nil; it's down to a few hundred a year. At its height there were as many as 36,000 cases.

All infectious diseases, except for some virus diseases, can largely be controlled by vaccines or antibiotics. Many mental illnesses, including severe depression and schizophrenia can be treated with a variety of drugs discovered in the '50s, especially the useful Thorazine, which was pioneered by Smith, Kline and French and Hans Lehman mm in Canada did the major work on it, here, on this continent, whereas some Frenchmen, Lavareit and Dennaker? made some important contributions. Serpasil, which works in high blood pressure, also calms people who are in severe agitated states. This was a contribution due to an observation of Dr. Wilkens, who was working on hypertensive patients and he wrote a report that I happened to see, as I was a member of the Heart Council--he was a grantee of the Council--that this drug calmed the patients. This report was published later in another form and Nathan Klein at Rockland State Hospital, where there were 8,000 people severely mentally ill, read this same Wilkens' report in a medical journal



© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help