Tag Archives: neurology

Origins of the knee jerk

JMS Pearce  East Yorks, England   Wilhelm Heinrich Erb. By F. Langbein & Cie. Heidelberg. 1897. Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0 Reflex hammers are the icon or hallmark of every neurologist. How important are the reflexes they elicit? What is their mechanism? The advent of modern technology has made it easy to forget […]

Tendon reflex hammers

JMS Pearce  East York, England   Fig 1. Wintrich hammer cropped from Semantics Scholars The vogue for reflex hammers started with Erb and Westphal’s adjacent papers1,2 in the 1875 issue of the Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten, which described the tendon or muscle stretch reflex. Wilhelm Heinrich Erb (1840-1921) read medicine at Heidelberg where he […]

Sir Victor Horsley’s fatal blind spot

Faraze A. Niazi Jack E. Riggs Morgantown, West Virginia, United States     Sir Victor Horsley. Photograph by G.C. Beresford. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) A belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses; it is an idea that possesses the mind. -Robert Oxton Bolton Sir Victor Horsley is generally regarded as the […]

Epidemic encephalitis lethargica

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Table 1. QUARANTINABLE DISEASES Cholera Diphtheria Infectious tuberculosis Plague Smallpox Yellow fever Viral hemorrhagic fevers Severe acute respiratory syndromes Influenza pandemic From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Legal authorities for isolation and quarantine. Source The pandemic Covid-19 infection, first reported from China in December 2019, reminds us […]

Destination

J Rush Pierce Lakewood, CO, United States   Chasm Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA. Photo taken by the author 27 August 2016. It must have started some time before, but I was unaware of it on that pleasant September day, hiking in the rocky foothills of northern New Mexico with my daughter. Arriving […]

Wilder Penfield

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Wilder Penfield, Stamp Wilder Penfield was not only a great surgeon and a great scientist, he was an even greater human being. -Sir George Pickering, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University   Wilder Penfield (1891-1976) (Fig. 1) was the most gifted pioneer of Canadian neurosurgery. […]

Staining the cells of the nervous system

Camillo Golgi (1843 –1926) was an Italian biologist and pathologist, now recognized as the greatest neuroscientist of his time. He studied and worked at the University of Pavia, where he developed a technique of using potassium dichromate and silver nitrate to stain cellular components black. Using this stain he was able to discover the organelle now known as the Golgi apparatus, consisting […]

Oliver Sacks and caring for the whole person

Margaret Marcum Boca Raton, Florida   Body shapes, female. Credit: Martin Addison. CC BY 4.0. Accessed via the Wellcome Collection. The neurologist Oliver Sacks—“The Poet Laureate of Medicine” according to The New York Times—developed an effective clinical method of treating the patient as a complete person rather than as a defective body part. He wrote […]

The central nervous system of the leech

Leeches are worms of the subspecies Hirudinea that live in oceans, rivers, or on land. They consist of several parts or segments; a front area designated as the head or anterior brain, the middle part consisting of segments each containing a nerve ganglion as well as other organs, and the hind part which has the […]

Catalepsy

Catalepsy has been defined as a trance or seizure with a loss of sensation and consciousness accompanied by rigidity of the body. It may occur in neurological diseases such as Parkinsonism and epilepsy, also following the withdrawal from certain drugs such as cocaine. These images are part of a series of observations made in an […]