|William Ross Adey, M.D. will be our 1999 Hans Selye Award Recipient. He is being honored for his seminal contributions to our understanding of the biologic effects of feeble electromagnetic forces, and for defining the parameters of the "Adey window" of activity. In Congress presentations over the past ten years, he has explained how this has led to new findings, and an emerging paradigm of cell communication at a physical/atomic level, rather than the current chemical/molecular model. Ross has also attracted co-workers from his laboratory, as well as leading authorities like Neils Kuster, Jan Walleczek, Russ Reiter and others to discuss their research which supports this viewpoint, and has also provided novel insights into the nature of stress responses and their clinical implications.|
This has allowed Congress participants to appreciate such things as: the effects of electromagnetic fields on melatonin production and its possible role in breast cancer; EMF therapies for Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases; the ability of free radicals to accelerate various oxidative stress manifestations of aging; the crucial role of nitric oxide in carcinogenesis, regulation of blood flow in smaller vessels, and mediating the effects of drugs like Viagra; and how electromagnetic fields are two edged swords that can both harm and heal, - long before these became popular topics.
It is not uncommon for non-physicians to make significant contributions to clinical medicine, or even become involved with patient care. This is especially true for those with doctoral degrees in biology, biochemistry, physics, and other relevant basic sciences. It is far less likely for an accredited and well trained physician to reject a potentially lucrative profession in order to labor in the laboratory, and rarer still to excel in such pursuits to the degree that Ross Adey has. In reviewing his lengthy bibliography of over 400 papers, chapters, and books, I note that it begins with a 1949 case report of a patient with thyrotoxic myopathy, but almost all subsequent publications deal with his basic science interests in such things as electromagnetic field interactions with biological systems, cell membrane organization and intercellular communication, organization of cerebral systems and cellular mechanisms, bioinstrumentation and bioengineering, and computer applications in medical imaging, physiological data analysis, modeling of brain mechanisms and systems, with only aerospace medicine and physiology suggesting a return to the clinical arena. His superb achievements in these areas have been acknowledged by his peers with numerous awards and honors here and abroad, including Fellowship in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the D'Arsonval Award from the Bioelectromagnetics Society, the Sechenov medal of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, and more recently, appointment as Distinguished Visiting Professor of the Royal Society of Medicine.
Some may wonder how any of this relates to "Stress", or why this Congress and the last should have such a large focus on bioelectromagnetic medicine. I first met Ross Adey 15 years ago, when we were both speakers in a conference entitled "Electromagnetic Fields And Neurobehavioral Function": It was conducted in a former monastery in Priorji Corsendonck, a remote and secluded area of Belgium. Since there was nothing nearby to visit, all the participants spent their meals and evenings together. Ross Adey's presentation dealt with communication between cells, with emphasis on the role of the cell membrane in the detection and transductive coupling of oscillating electromagnetic fields, demonstrating that activation of intracellular systems responsible for amplification of such signals was calcium dependent. It was seemingly far removed from my concluding paper on the biobehavioral effects of electromagnetic fields and their significance for stress research. However, I was aware of his prior studies of the effect of weak electromagnetic fields on behavior in animals and humans, and his conviction that this could have important clinical implications. I also recalled that during the "Cold War", he was the only American to whom the Russians entrusted their LIDA electrosleep machine. I had ample opportunity to discuss these and other areas of mutual interest during the five days we were together, and was impressed by not only his wide range of interests, but expertise in so many seemingly disparate disciplines. He had been quoted in the press as describing LIDA's effect as similar to Valium, but told me that he did not pursue further research because of concerns about possible adverse effects from repeated use. During this Conference, I also had an opportunity to present some of the animal and very early human research with the Symtonic low energy emission device for the treatment of insomnia. This was being conducted at the Biotonus Clinic in Montreux, Switzerland, under the direction of Dr. Claude Rossel, who joined us for the final day of the conference to report on his latest findings. He was similarly impressed with Ross Adey's acumen and helpful suggestions, and when Claude subsequently conceived the idea of establishing this annual Congress, we both agreed that Ross could play a key role in helping us to achieve the high standards we had set. As indicated above, Ross has been an invaluable and stalwart contributor to these events, and his presence has attracted other pioneers in all aspects of "electromedicine".
For example, at our first Congress, Bj÷rn Nordenstr÷m demonstrated the remarkable success of his treatment for metastatic lung malignancies based on his theory of an electrical circulatory system in the body. His results have now been confirmed by others in thousands of patients. His new book explains how this energy may resemble chi, with yin and yang representing positive and negative charges, and will hopefully be available for purchase at a reduced rate. At our last Congress, Demetrio Sodi Pallares presented examples of the ability of his magnetotherapy - metabolic protocol to reverse far advanced metastatic cancers and end stage cardiomyopathy. These terminally ill patients, with X-ray evidence of severe and seemingly irreversible pathology, had no signs or symptoms of their diseases one year later, and were leading normal lives, despite any need for their previous medications. He will provide an update on further triumphs at this Congress, and hopefully, his forthcoming new book will also be available. Our Ninth Congress also featured numerous other clinical applications of static as well as time varying magnetic fields, and advances in EMF technologies and devices.
Ross Adey has thus helped us immeasurably to provide a more panoramic perspective of the vast clinical potential of safe bioelectromagnetic approaches for the detection, diagnosis and treatment of disease, as well as the promotion and enhancement of health. One of the major reasons that electromagnetic therapies have not been more widely accepted, or are dismissed as quackery, is the plethora of worthless products making extravagant claims based on lavish testimonials that have no scientific basis or support. It is often difficult for the public, and even doctors and health professionals, to separate those that are authentic or may have potential merit, from others promoted by well intentioned but misguided zealots, as well as charlatans, who capitalize on placebo effects, and the lack of governmental regulations. There are also justifiable concerns that such devices, or certain man made electromagnetic fields emanating from high power lines, cell phones, microwave ovens and other appliances could pose health hazards, and Ross Adey has been in the forefront of sorting this out.
In addition to organizing and participating in scientific sessions dealing with the above, he has faithfully attended all other presentations and actively participated in their discussion periods. He has commented authoritatively on such things as the growing illegal immigration problem in California, and its disastrous effects on the delivery of health care, environmental pollution, problems related to substance abuse, the health and stress reduction benefits of exercise, interrelationships between stress and cancer, job stress (about which he has recently had extensive first hand knowledge), and numerous other topics. These reflect his wide range of interests and hobbies, which include ham radio, photography, radio astronomy, skiing, backpacking, opera, marathon running (which he continues to actively participate in) and a deep devotion to his native Australia and love of its natural beauty.
From my personal perspective, Ross Adey's greatest contribution has been to change the way we think about communication in the body. These Congresses are devoted to exploring the relationships between stress and health, and in the final analysis, good health depends entirely on good communication - good communication between the constituency of a system, as well as with its external environment. That holds true for all the hierarchy of living systems, ranging upward from the cell, tissue, organ, individual, and family, to a corporation, nation, or society. Good health depends upon good communication within and without. This is a basic tenet of all stress research, starting with Claude Bernard's concept of the need to maintain the stability of the milieu intÚrieur (internal environment), which Walter Cannon later described as homeostasis, and Hans Selye subsequently demonstrated in his General Adaptation Syndrome. All of these pioneers, as well as current researchers studying neurotransmitter responses to stress, have viewed these at a molecular level, as small chemical messengers fit into specific receptor sites on cell walls, much like a key fits into a certain lock. However, in the final analysis, all communication in the body takes place at a physical and atomic level, as infinitesimally weak electrical signals alter cell membrane permeability to allow the transfer of millions of ions back and forth in milliseconds. This new paradigm of communication allows us to comprehend numerous well documented observations that can not be explained by Newtonian physics, or conventional laws of thermodynamics that govern ionic flux. In leading the development of this new model, Ross Adey has understandably antagonized authorities in the field whose reputations are based on preserving the status quo, as well as powerful groups with vested financial interests in not rocking the boat. I have witnessed this uphill fight over the years, and am pleased to report that the tide is turning, as more and more proof accumulates to support his views.
As this Congress will demonstrate, this has important implications for stress research, and more importantly for the prevention of illness and enhancement of health, In my opinion, it offers the potential for tapping into the vast potential for self-healing that resides in all of us, and will significantly change the practice of medicine in the millennium. Ross has helped us to appreciate and advance our understanding of this.. A good and faithful friend, he has been of invaluable assistance in helping us develop these Congresses. I can think of none more deserving of receiving our 1999 Hans Selye Award than Dr. William Ross Adey. He is a true Renaissance figure, and quite obviously, "A Man For All Seasons."
Paul J. Rosch, M.D., F.A.C.P. President, The American Institute of Stress.
Clinical Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry New York Medical College