Polioforever's Blog


Through the 19th century Victorian era, the field  of neurology blossomed into multi-faceted disciplines based on anatomy (form) and physiology (function) and gave rise to schools of psychiatry and psychology as well as surgery and pharmacology. By the end of the century, epidemiology and immunology were recognized as integral to ‘nervous and mental’ diseases. The field was largely divided in two as it developed: the physiologic versus the psychologic. Freud, who rejected the ‘behavioral’ thesis of organic disease, was later to come around to it near the end of his life. Below are some of the best known pioneers of neurology.


Sir Charles Bell (1774-1842) http://www.answers.com/topic/charles-bell Native of Edinburgh, Scotland who became a renowned anatomist; authored ‘The Nervous System of the Human Body’ in 1830. Bell investigated the infantile paralysis outbreak on the remote South Atlantic island of St. Helena, site of Napoleon Bonaparte’s exile.


JeanMartin Charcot (1825-1893) http://www.answers.com/topic/jean-martin-charcot  perhaps the most celebrated neuropathologist; defined ‘Charcot’s Disease’ [ALS or Lou Gehrig’s in the US]and other syndromes named by Charcot http://www.whonamedit.com/doctor.cfm/19.html. Charcot was the first to describe Multiple Sclerosis. He gained notoriety for his occult interests and use of  ‘mesmerism’ as a therapy for hysteria, which evolved into a more legitimized use of hypnosis. Paris became a world center for neurology study in due measure to the influence of Charcot.


Charles-Edward Brown-Sequard  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles-%C3%89douard_Brown-S%C3%A9quard


Theodor Meynert (1833-1892) http://www.answers.com/topic/meynert-theodor, Chair of psychiatry for the University of Vienna; both Sigmund Freud and Bernard Sachs were students under Meynert (Freud rejected anatomical psychiatry)


Samuel Goldflam (1852-19320 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Goldflam


Hermann Oppenheim (1858-1919) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Oppenheim  ‘Oppenheim’s Disease’ http://www.answers.com/topic/amyotonia-congenita


Joseph Babinski (1857-1932) http://www.answers.com/topic/joseph-babinski ; “Babinski’s sign” is demonstrated by video http://yassermetwally.wordpress.com/2008/07/29/babinski-the-sign-and-the-man/


Augustus Waller (1856-1922) http://www.hrsonline.org/News/ep-history/notable-figures/augustuswaller.cfm


William Hirsch – cited in ‘The Polio Paradox’ by Richard Bruno for publishing the earliest compendium on the ‘late-effects’ of polio; one of Hirsch’s more famous works was  the 1896 publication of “Genius and Degeneration” http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A%22Hirsch%2C%20William%22   He debated Max Nordau over the physiological basis of degeneration and the ‘degenerate’ and criminal nature of mankind. An example is found here :  http://forum.llc.ed.ac.uk/si1/bartlett.html on the Victorian view of laughter 


Moses Allen Starr (1854-1932) http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/news/journal/journal-o/winter_2009/moses.html


Charles Loomis Dana (1852-1935) ..obit  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1965897/


Bernard Sachs (1858- ), Mt. Sinai NYC http://www.mssm.edu/psychiatry/history.shtml, brother of Samuel Sachs, co-founder of Goldman Sachs; graduated from Harvard in 1878; studied neurology in Berlin (under Rudolph Virchow) andVienna, degree in 1882; studied under Jean-Martin Charcot in Paris; studied under Meynert along with Sigmund Freud; returned to NYC in 1884 to work with Isaac Adler; discovered  Tay-Sachs disease; published the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (1886-1911);chief of the first neurology ward (1900) at Mount Sinai Hospital.  >>see The Opal Project http://www.theopalproject.org/ourstory.html  timeline entry : “1905    Bernard Sachs, author of A Treatise on the Nervous Diseases of Children recommends that masturbation in children be treated by cautery to the spine and to the genitals. Cauterize is to burn, sear or destroy tissue.”

Bernard’s daughter Helen Sachs married Nathan Straus Jr. The Straus family patriarch, Lazarus, was a ‘48′er whose sons, Isidor, Nathan, and Oscar reached prominence in business (R.H. Macy’s Department Store) and politics. Nathan Straus Sr. devoted his fortune to Zionist causes and the pasteurization of milk. Nathan Straus Jr. was a close friend of the banker Otto Frank, father of Anne Frank.


       Kienbock’s Disease 

Robert Kienbock (1871-1953) ‘Kienbock’s Disease’ http://www.kienbock.com/kienbock.htm


Charles Karsner Mills (1845-1931)U Penn;..his books http://openlibrary.org/a/OL2565156A/Charles_Karsner_Mills  ..(brief obit) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,741825-2,00.html


William Gibson Spiller (1863-1940); U Penn; http://www.uic.edu/depts/mcne/founders/page0091.html


History of Neurology

“Founding years of clinical neurology in Berlin until 1933” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15370309


“Early Presidents of the ANA” http://www.aneuroa.org/html/c19html/005-early_pres.htm


Neurology Journals

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, “founded 1874, it is the world’s oldest independent scientific monthly in the field of human behavior” –wikipedia. http://journals.lww.com/jonmd/pages/default.aspx



Historical Citations http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/vol43/issue181/



“Philosophical” Literature (rare books) http://tbrookswilder.com/Amerphil.html

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