Application of Differential Equations to the Study of the Thyroid System
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH Bethesda United States
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This paper deals with the application of newly developed techniques of dataanalysis to studies presently in progress on the thyroid system using isotopetracers. In general, the biological system that one encounters in an in vivo tracerexperiment is quite complex. The tracer experiment alone is inadequate to defineit, and one tries to construct a substitute system from the data that will approximatethe behavior of the actual system. This substitute system serves as amodel for the true system and its complexity or resolution is no greater than theexperimental data justify. A degree of arbitrariness is present in deciding howcomplex a model should be, and this depends on statistical, physiological, andbiochemical considerations.When a model compatible with all the available information on the systemis derived, one tries to correlate the parameters of the model with known physiologicaland biochemical entities. One also tries to correlate changes in the valuesof the model parameters with known clinical or physiological abnormalities.Successes or failures of these attempts serve as additional criteria in the developmentof an acceptable model.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Statistics and Probability