Neurology - Hektoen International

Luigi Rolando

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Likened to the small intestines, in ancient times the gyri of the brain were named “coils” by Greek physicians and anatomists. Vesalius in the sixteenth century amplified the description in the celebrated De humani corporis fabrica. Thomas Willis in Cerebri anatome (1664) radically changed the accepted view that cognitive and […]

Huntington’s chorea

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. George Huntington’s 1872 paper “On Chorea.” In the history of medicine, few writers can have received a finer accolade than that bestowed by William Osler on George Huntington. Osler commented: “In the whole range of descriptive nosology there is not to my knowledge, an instance in which a […]

Wernicke-Korsakoff encephalopathy: A historical note

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. Wernicke’s Lehrbuch der Gehirnkrankheiten. Internet Archive. Public domain. Before Sergei Sergeivich Korsakoff described the psychosis that bears his name, Carl Wernicke reported a closely related and often coexistent syndrome. It is variously named Wernicke-Korsakoff encephalopathy, syndrome, or psychosis. Two more different personalities would be hard to imagine.   […]

Gonzalo R. Lafora: Spanish neuropsychologist and neuropathologist

Enrique Chaves-Carballo Overland, Kansas, United States   Portrait of Dr. Gonzalo R. Lafora (1886–1971). Reproduced with permission from Spanish Society of Neurology’s Museum and Historical Archives (MAH SEN). Gonzalo Rodríguez-Lafora (1886–1971) was a Spanish neurologist best known for his description of intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies (Lafora bodies) in myoclonic epilepsy. Lafora was born in Madrid on […]

Lumbar puncture

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. Dominici Cotugno’s De Ischiade Nervosa, 1764. 1770. Access to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in life as an aid to diagnosis proved impossible until lumbar puncture. Galen of Pergamon (AD 130–200) failed to recognize CSF; he described a vaporous, not aqueous, humor that he called περιττώματα (residues) in the cerebral ventricles. […]

Henry Miller

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Henry Miller. From the author’s personal collection. There are many eminent figures in the worlds of medicine and neurology, most of them distinguished by their clinical skill, academic prowess, scientific originality, or success in establishing major institutes of teaching and research. Henry Miller (1913–1976), though not a laboratory investigator, was […]

Dr. Désiré-Magloire Bourneville: a man ahead of his time

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Drawing of a children’s puzzle with different shaped pieces and holes. From Assistance, traitement et éducation des enfants idiots et dégénérés: rapport fait au Congrès National d’assistance publique (session de Lyon, juin 1894) by Bourneville (Paris: Aux bureaux du Progrès médical [etc.], 1895), p. 233. Francis A. Countway Library of […]

Early surgery of meningocele

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Figure 1. Spinal dysraphism. c. AD 200. From Goodrich, J.T.1 A variety of dysraphic states, recorded since antiquity, (Fig 1)1 are caused by the failed closure of the neural tube during the fourth week of embryonic life. They include hydrocephalus, Chiari malformations, and various types of spina bifida with meningocele […]

A note on Joseph Jules Dejerine (1849–1917)

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Jules and Augusta Dejerine. Via Wikimedia. CC BY 4.0. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, medicine in Paris flourished.1 Under the charismatic Charcot, it matched or excelled the contemporary advances in Germany and Britain. In the footsteps of Cruveilhier, Gratiolet, and Vicq d’Azyr came […]

JLW Thudichum: neglected “Father of neurochemistry”

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Johann Ludwig Wilhelm Thudichum. Photo. National Library of Medicine. Public domain. Knowledge of diseases of the nervous system reflects an understanding of the basic sciences of neural mechanisms and organization. In the last decade of the nineteenth century, the Nobel prizewinners Camillo Golgi and Santiago Ramón […]