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date: 21 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Ever since the dawn of humankind, people have been preoccupied with their physical and mental health. Even though many causes of disease remained obscure for millennia, humans have been quite inventive to find remedies for many ailments. Only quite recently, discoveries of pathogenic agents such as bacteria and viruses have paved the way for the development of modern antimicrobial therapies and preventive measures including hygiene. We now know, however, that the indiscriminate use of antibiotics has produced new problems, and excessive hygiene may be causally involved in the emergence of autoimmune diseases. Chapter 18 proposes that evolutionary medicine may be informative in understanding seemingly unpredictable consequences of advances in some areas of medical treatment. Moreover, the authors believe that evolutionary medicine could help avoid many of the pitfalls associated with the negligence of important evolutionary concepts by contemporary medicine.

Keywords: physical and mental health, pathogenic agents, antimicrobial treatment, treatment resistance, hygiene, autoimmune diseases, medical advancements, evolutionary medicine

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