What is Stress Theory?

"Medicine, the only profession that labors incessantly to destroy the reason for its existence." ---James Bryce

Medicine forever suffers for lack of a theory that explains disease and enables physicians to treat its cause rather than evaluate treatments on the basis of symptoms.

Stress theory is the elephant in the living room of medicine because it provides the simplest explanation of physiology, pathology, and stress. It postulates an extracellular “stress mechanism” that converts genetic information into embryological development, whereupon DNA resumes quiescence while the stress mechanism remains active to repair tissues and regulate physiology. Environmental stresses induce stress mechanism hyperactivity that manifests as disease.The recent discovery of this mechanism will elevate medicine from an art based on experiment to a true science guided by theory, and revolutionize medical treatments. 

Stress theory exemplifies the pattern of scientific progress described by Thomas Kuhn.(1) Important new theories appear long before evidence becomes available to confirm them.  A theory is useless without a testable mechanism that explains how it works, so stress theory  inspired an international search for the theoretical stress mechanism that was abandoned after 30 years of fruitless effort. Thereafter, prominent professors pronounced that no singe mechanism could possibly explain the multiple manifestations of stress, disease, and physiology, and stress theory was abandoned and equated with the Unicorn. The fatally flawed "central dogma of molecular biology" (aka "genomics") became the prevailing paradigm of medical research by default, and theoretical progress halted for another 30 years while unrelated research accumulated fresh evidence that belatedly enabled the discovery of the long-sought stress mechanism.(2) The genomics paradigm is now exhausted, and medical research has entered a period of crisis wherein a fresh paradigm is needed to inspire fresh research and restore theoretical advance.

The newly discovered mammalian stress mechanism (MSM) fulfills all the predictions and expectations of the old stress researchers. It incorporates their tissue repair theory and capillary gate theory. It is founded on published research, compatible with existing knowledge, and analogous to the “coagulation cascade” that was described during the heyday of stress research. It enables the Unified Theory of Medicine that Selye predicted. It exceeds the bounds of medicine and confers a unified theory of biology that would astonish Selye himself. 

Now empowered by a testable stress mechanism, stress theory is poised to resume its rightful role as the prevailing paradigm of medical research, and revolutionize medicine. 

View a 15 minute slide show presentation of the history of stress theory here

1. T. S. Kuhn, I. Hacking, The structure of scientific revolutions.  (The University of Chicago Press, Chicago ; London, ed. Fourth edition., 2012), pp. xlvi, 217 p.
2. L. S. Coleman, A Stress Repair Mechanism that Maintains Vertebrate Structure during Stress. Cardiovasc Hematol Disord Drug Targets,  (2010).