Delayed effects of measles, mumps and other childhood illnesses may be causes of mental and old age diseases, Brigadier General James Stevens Simmons, Dean of the School of Public Health, suggested yesterday.
He spoke at a meeting of the Rhode Island Medical Societly recently in connection with a program for a new approach to a search for "basic causes" and ways of preventing mental and old age diseases.
The Harvard Dean was presented the Chapin Medal at the Society's annual meeting, Referring to the "overwhelming burden of mental diseases" as one of the nation's unsolved health problems, Simmons declared that "little or no headway is bring made by following the present nebulous channels of fragmentary research."
He said that he hoped to add to the staff of the School of Public Health a group of "keen young investigators . . . who will dedicate their lives to an objective investigation (of insanity) without any preconceived notions as to its causes."
Simmons also emphasized the importance of practical preventative methods in curbing the diseases.
After receiving the Chapin Medal, Simmons paid tribute to the man for whom it was named, once a visiting lecturer at the School of Public Health.