Tag Archives: neurology

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 […]

Walter E. Dandy, one of the founders of neurosurgery

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Johns Hopkins, where Dandy studied. Photo by Lizardraley99, 2012. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0 Three pioneers established the discipline of neurosurgery. They were the British surgeon Victor Horsley and the Americans Harvey Cushing and Walter Dandy. Both Americans were surgeons at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Dandy (1886-1946) […]

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)   […]

Broca’s Brains: A lesson in the importance of saving the history of neuroscience

Richard Brown Halifax, NS, Canada Thalia Garvock-de Montbrun Montreal, QC, Canada   Figure 1. Brain of patient (Lelong) with aphasia studied by Broca. Photo taken by Richard Brown May 2017. Recent fires at the National Museum of Brazil and at the University of Cape Town in South Africa1,2 have shown the fragility of rare books, […]

The intricate forest of the neuron

Silvia Maina Torino, Italia   Santiago Ramón y Cajal. A Purkinje neuron from the human cerebellum. [Wikimedia, Public Domain] Entering the room, I was welcomed by some small and attractive ink drawings. In the first, like a genealogical tree or a medieval miniature, thin branches stretched to fill the frame. In the second, waves of […]

Origin of the mind

Bhargavi Bhattacharyya Kolkata, India   Artificial Intelligence. Photo by Gerd Altman. From Pixabay. How are the mind and brain related? The brain is a ball of nerve cells, or neurons. The mind, the functional unit of the brain, includes imagination, perception, thinking, intelligence, judgment, language, memory, and emotions. How do these basic units, neurons, translate […]

The invisible manager

Javishkar Reddy Johannesburg, South Africa   Photo by meo from Pexels When I was twelve, I was hit on the head by a cricket ball. A few days later, I had my first seizure. Over the years, I have had many attacks, which have resulted in three chipped teeth, a cracked skull, a dislocated shoulder, […]

Eye-brain-extremity coordination and enduring sports achievement

Marshall Lichtman Rochester, New York, United States   Rafael Nadal. Photo by Carine06. 2016. Via Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0 Neuroscientists have imaged the brain of athletes, looking for changes related to the sports they played, whether principally aerobic or anaerobic. These efforts have suggested expansion of the gray matter in certain anatomical areas of the […]

Encephalitis lethargica

Front page of Encephalitis lethargica. Its sequelae and treatment by Constantin Von Economo, 1931. Via Wikimedia. Encephalitis lethargica was a worldwide epidemic during the years 1918-1930 that resembled influenza. It was first described in Vienna in 1916 by Constantin von Economo in thirteen patients suffering from unusual neurological symptoms that he thought constituted a new […]

Munchausen by Proxy

Charles Halsted Davis, California, United States   My last patient of the morning was a teenage girl, just turned eighteen. She walked in slowly, her face in agony, apprehensive. Her mother said the pain had begun at age twelve, about when she started to menstruate, yet it never let up, periods or not. Refusing food, […]