Tag Archives: JMS Pearce

Paul Pierre Broca

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Paul Pierre Broca. US National Library of Medicine. At the turn of the nineteenth century, knowledge of how the brain worked was largely conjectural. Intelligence, memory, language, and motor and sensory functions had not been localized. The physiologist Flourens, promoting the notion of “cerebral equipotentiality,” concluded, […]

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Credit: Walery, published by Sampson Low & Co. in February 1889. Via Wikimedia. Elizabeth Blackwell and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson were the first women physicians in the United States and Britain.1 Both were born in England. Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-I9I0) was born in Bristol but […]

Franz Joseph Gall and phrenology

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Franz Joseph Gall. By Zéphirin Félix Jean Marius Belliard. Via Wikimedia. For many reasons the work of Gall, when stripped of its excrescences, constituted an important landmark in the history of neurology. -Macdonald Critchley4 In the times of Galen, the location of the mind and spirit […]

Edward Lear

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Lear by Wilhelm Marstrand 1840 NPG 3055 [public domain] How pleasant to know Mr Lear! Who has written such volumes of stuff! Some think him ill-tempered and queer But a few think him pleasant enough. Edward Lear 1879 Hundreds of famous people from every branch of […]

Johannes Jacob Wepfer (1620-1695)

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Johannes Jacob Wepfer. From https://www.prints-online.com/johann-jacob-wepfer-14108627.html The eminent physician Johannes Jakob Wepfer (1620-1695) was born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, on the right bank of the Rhine. Little is written of his early years but the child Wepfer may have gazed and wondered about Schaffhausen’s countryside, its many oriel […]

A note on handedness

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Handedness (chirality) refers to the preferential use of one hand over the other. It is a matter of degree; it is seldom absolute. Population left and right preference existed in the Neanderthals (lived from 400,000 to about 40,000 years ago) onwards. Only homo sapiens amongst the great apes […]

The migraine aura and royal astronomers

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. George Airy’s visual hallucinations from London, Edinb., and Dubl. Phil. Mag., ser. 4, 80: 19-21, 1865. reproduced in Jarcho S.11 Spleen sighs for ever on her pensive bed, Pain at her side and megrim at her head. “Rape of the lock,” Alexander Pope (1688-1744) About one […]

The discoverers of aspirin

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Proc Royal Soc 1763, Salix Edmund Stone Willow bark. Source. In the short period between the years 1946-1950, three highly effective new drugs became available for clinical use in the newly established National Health Service. They were penicillin, streptomycin, and cortisone. Before this there were few […]

“Modern psychiatry begins with Kraepelin”

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1: Emil Kraepelin, 1921 at the Department of Psychiatry, Munich. Source “Modern psychiatry begins with Kraepelin”1 The pages of history seen through the retrospectroscope often provide dull facts rather than insights into the personalities and driving forces of its famous subjects. Such is the case of Emil Wilhelm Kraepelin […]

Alzheimer and his disease

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. Alois Alzheimer. 1915 or earlier. From Wikimedia “Fortiter in re, suaviter in modo (powerfully in deed, gently in manner).” – Franz Nissl’s description of Alzheimer (1916)   Curiously, until the 1970s the high prevalence Alzheimer’s disease was not recognized as the most common cause of dementia.1 Most demented […]