Neurology | Hektoen International

Jules Dejerine

Jules Dejerine originated in Savoy and grew up in the then provincial atmosphere of Geneva, where his father was a carriage proprietor… Young Dejerine had a powerful physique. At the Lycée Calvin he was better known for his swimming and boxing then for his devotion to study…. Nevertheless, he did well in school…left for Paris […]

Multiple [disseminated] sclerosis

  “Disseminated sclerosis was described pathologically in the 1830s by Cruveilhier in Paris and Carswell in London, but clinical accounts were sketchy. It was known only to the cognoscenti and regarded as a great rarity. Charcot was the first to diagnose the disease during life, and from 1860 onwards Charcot and Vulpian, and later Charcot […]

Death from uremia

“Your grandmother is doomed,” [the doctor] said to me. “It is a stroke brought on by uremia. In itself, uremia is not necessarily fatal, but this case seems to me hopeless. I need not tell you that I hope I am mistaken.” [Then] there was a moment when the uremic trouble affected her eyes. For […]

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

Rayda Aaishah Joomun Mauritius (Winter 2018)   Diagram A: Total Macrosomatognosia Author Dedication To Deelshad Reezuana, The most beautiful Alice I met, May you rest in peace in Wonderland…   “Thus grew the tale of Wonderland: / Thus slowly, one by one, / Its quaint events hammered out / And now the tale is done, / And home we […]

Somnambulance and other surprises

Brent da Silva Russell Marietta, Georgia, United States (Winter 2018)   Palpation for tusks In one of the odder experiences of my life, I woke up in the middle of the night to find my wife prodding my face with her fingers. “What are you doing?” I asked. “I’m trying to see whether you have […]

The human brain: writer of our stories

Jaleed Ahmed Gilani Karachi, Pakistan (Winter 2018)   The Human Brain, Home of our existence and the Writer of our stories. “What if I told you that this world around us, this richly textured world, were all just an illusion constructed in your head?” asks eminent neuroscientist David Eagleman in the brilliant documentary The Brain […]

Discovering migraines

Catherine Lanser Madison, Wisconsin (Fall 2017)   My headaches started after my first period when I was a freshman in high school. They were dull, daily, aching headaches that were manageable. I usually just took some acetaminophen and they went away. But none had been as bad as the one gripping me on one memorable […]

Left-handedness: is it the winner’s curse?

Isuri Upeksha Wimalasiri Kandawela Estate, Ratmalana, Sri Lanka  (Fall 2017)   Writing left-handed Most human beings, some 85% to 95%, are right-handed, and the remainder consists mainly of left-handers and a negligibly small number of ambidextrous people. Hand orientation is decided during intrauterine life, but if a child shows hand preference before the age of eighteen […]

“I shouldn’t know you again if we did meet:” Prosopagnosia

Sylvia R. Karasu New York City, New York, United States (Fall 2017)   Figure 1. Chuck Close, Self-Portrait (1997) (Museum of Modern Art, New York City) Watching Black Narcissus, the eerily unsettling film1 about an order of nuns cloistered in an isolated, windswept convent perched within the Himalayas, I am struggling to differentiate one nun from […]

Joseph Babinski of the Babinski Sign

In 1848 populist revolutions swept across Europe, in Germany, France, and Italy – and also in Poland, where an uprising to gain independence from Russia was ruthlessly suppressed. To escape the repression that followed, Aleksander and Henryieta Babinski fled to France. Their son Joseph was born there in 1857, in Paris – not in Poland […]