Tag Archives: neurosyphilis

Can behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia salvage Semmelweis?

Faraze A. Niazi Jack E. Riggs Morgantown, West Virginia, United States   Ignaz Semmelweis. 1818 – 1865. Age 47 years at death. Via Wikimedia. Remember me for the mind I had; not the mind a disease created.  Few physicians have made a more significant observation than did Ignaz Semmelweis.1 In 1847 he took over two […]

Heinrich Heine and the mattress tomb

Nicolás Roberto Robles  Badajoz, Spain   Harry Heine was born in Bolkerstrasse, Düsseldorf, Germany. He jokingly described himself as the “first man of the century,” claiming that he had been born on New Year’s Eve 1800. Researchers have discovered, however, that December 13, 1797, is most likely the date of his birth. The oldest of […]

Friedrich Nietzsche—much afflicted philosopher

Friedrich Nietzsche By Edvard Munch. 1906. Thielska Gallerie, Sweden. Via Wikimedia. Friedrich Nietzsche was one of the most important philosophers of the nineteenth century. Though often misinterpreted, his influence has been enormous. Like his compatriot Schopenhauer, he questioned the comfortable beliefs of the conservative bourgeoisie of his time. His writings have fascinated generations of readers, […]

The last illness of Édouard Manet

George Dunea James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois   A Bar at the Folies-Bergère. Édouard Manet. 1881-1882. The Courtauld Institute of Art. Accessed via Wikimedia. Édouard Manet (1832–1883) was one of the most famous modernist painters of nineteenth-century France. He painted life as creatively and elegantly as he lived in it, translating onto canvas the fashionable […]

Did Macbeth have syphilis?

Eleanor J. Molloy Dublin, Ireland   Gerard De Lairesse suffered from congenital syphilis. Image: Portrait of Gerard de Lairesse. Rembrandt van Rijn. 1665–67. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Public Domain. Introduction Syphilis was endemic in Elizabethan England and it was estimated that nearly 20% of the population of London were infected.1 The signs and symptoms […]

Smetana, his music, his illness

Bedřich (Frederic) Smetana was one of the major figures of nineteenth century European music. Regarded as the founder of the Czech national school of music, he composed The Bartered Bride opera and the symphonic poem “Má Vlast” (My Homeland) with its beloved Vlatava (The Moldau) melody. Like Ludwig van Beethoven, he composed exceptional music even […]

William Richard Gowers MD., FRS.

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig. 1 Gowers’ Manual. A Manual of Diseases of the Nervous System. J London: J. & A. Churchill 1886 The name Gowers is a name hallowed in the minds of most neurologists as one of the great founders of neurological medicine in the Victorian era. He is probably best remembered […]

Delusions of being and nothingness

Jesús Ramírez-Bermúdez Mexico City, Mexico   Emil Cioran and his long-lost friends. Augustin Ramirez Bermudez. Jesus Ramirez Bermudez Private Collection In the late nineteenth century, the French physician Jules Cotard described patients with a delusional denial of bodily organs, self-existence, and the world. The woman originally described “believed that she had no brain, nerves, chest, […]

The forgotten many of the Guatemalan Syphilis Experiments

Harsh Patolia Roanoke, Virginia, USA   Inoculation site of participant. Image from the Records of Dr. John C. Cutler housed in the National Archives. In 2005, medical historian Dr. Susan Reverby foraged through boxes in the stuffy archives of the library of the University of Pittsburgh for the papers of Thomas Parran, the surgeon general […]

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 […]