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Thursday, October 13, 2005

The revolution in ulcer treatment

Two Australian researchers who discovered that stomach ulcers are caused by a bacterium, not by emotional stress or spicy foods, were awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday.

Dr. J. Robin Warren, 68, and Dr. Barry J. Marshall, 54, overturned a dogma that had been embraced by physicians for decades by isolating a spiral-shaped bacterium called Helicobacter pylori from humans and ultimately demonstrating that it could produce serious lesions in the stomach.

The researchers “produced one of the most radical and important changes in the last 50 years in the perception of a medical condition,” said Lord Robert May of Oxford, president of the Royal Society. “Their results led to the recognition that gastric disorders are infectious diseases, and overturned the previous view that they were physiological illnesses.”

Read more: The revolution in ulcer treatment


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