Founders of Neurology : One Hundred Forty Six Biographical Sketches by Eighty Nine Authors

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9780398008093: Founders of Neurology : One Hundred Forty Six Biographical Sketches by Eighty Nine Authors

The writer of a note to Charles C Thomas recommending a new printing of The Founders, or a revision, tempered his suggestion by adding: "The type of material presented is not of such a nature that it ever gets out of date." Or does it? What seems firmly established die priori, will it necessarily appear so die posteriori? A review of the 1953 edition made it evident that a considerable number of the biographies needed, here and there, a different orientation, a new slant. More important, some who obviously were "founders" had to be added. Hence a mere reprinting would not do.

Who, then, we continued to ask ourselves, was a Founder, and not merely a Refiner? And what, in fact, is Neurology? For Neurology was not all founded by neurologists. Physicians long past, treating epilepsy or paralysis, had never heard its name-like Moliere's Monsieur Jourdain, learning one day that all his life he had been speaking prose. Neurologia first occurred to Thomas Willis as an analogy to myologia and osteologia. Willis also was the first to focus on the subject as we understand it, hence we must go back to him. Why not go further back? Did Galen or the Hippocratic writers not know and teach a lot about the nervous system? True, but it was not their major concern. The early founders of neurology were its emancipators. Subsequent founders in the eighteenth century made inroad after inroad until Neurology took on facets not even dreamed of in the earlier days. A greater number of the men who transformed Neurology in these transitional years, including neurochemists, have been added to the assemblage that made up the 1953 edition.

On the other hand, not every neurologist who may be considered "great" is included here. To approximate the 1953 format we have, reluctantly, eliminated a sizable number of previous names, for reasons of economy, and on the grounds-history being a fickle mistress-that some contributions seemed less resilient to the inroads of time. Our selection and our compromises will no doubt be subject to criticism on many counts, as selections must be. Some men, some discoverers, may loom larger on San Francisco Bay than they do, say, on the banks of the Moskva, the Thames, the Seine, or the Danube, and vice versa.

Sporadic criticism has been raised against the 1953 edition with its somewhat anecdotal treatment of the historical figures. The reason for that is in itself partly historical. For what essentially makes up The Founders started back in June, 1948, during a meeting of neurologists and neuropathologists in Atlantic City when, late one night around a table on the Boardwalk, some members began relating, anecdotes about their teachers. Not to let the accounts of the more personal traits of bygone neurologists fall into oblivion, that small group of story tellers set about the task which took shape in the first edition. It was a collaborative venture: an author's manuscript was passed to others who, in turn, would add what they knew. (The first edition was intended as a vade mecum sent by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and the Army Medical Library to the Fourth International Neurological Congress in Paris in 1949.) In the present sketches the historical settim, has received! greater emphasis than before. Some will still accuse us of hero -worship, others of dwelling on foibles. As to the latter reproach, we'd like to quote Johannes Muller: "A man's greatness may be such that to tell of his faults is to praise him." The present edition is again not designed as a history of neurology, but, instead, a gathering of short biographies to satisfy readers who want their historical information modest, accurate and lively.

After a good deal of deliberation about the sequence we decided to persist with that used in the first edition: alphabetical within sub-specialties, with a chronological break in the mid-nineteenth century for the anatomists. A more cogent categorization, alas, did not occur to us. We shrank from straight alphabetization in dictionary fashion, as much as from the straight chronology of the birth register. But we concede that several placings are open to question.

A final word of explanation on the editing of the biographies prepared by the authors now past and defenseless. We thought it our business to check, add, and eliminate a statement here and there, to dim, brighten, or transform some passage or other, to quibble over spellings and the like. We hope to be forgiven if, for better or for worse, we assume our fair share of responsibility for the outcome.

For collaborating on that first edition, we continue to feel indebted to General J. H. McNinch, then Director of the Army Medical Library, and his staff, in particular Mr. Karl A. Baer, biorapher to the Library. To those who loaned portraits for reproduction, we also remain grateful. To Prof. Dr. Kolle we owe permission to reproduce the signatures of a dozen or so of the Founders.

For secretarial work, which seemed unending, we are indebted to Mrs. Virginia A. Hughes, Ames Research Center, and for the vast amount of library research, we wish to express especial appreciation to Mrs. Betty Sherwood and her staff-Mrs. 0lga Kallos, Mrs. Barbara Peshel and Mrs. Marilyn Kanemura-also of Ames.

All authors join in expressing deep appreciation to Mr. Payne Thomas for having made available this series of 112 reworked previous biographies and 34 new ones.

from the book Preface by the Editors

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Book excerpt and biographical sketch

LUIGI LUCIANI (1840-1919)

LUCIANI, a pioneer in cerebellar physiology, was born in Ascoli Piceno, Italy. At the age of twenty, he graduated from the Gymnasium, where his intelligence and industry had greatly impressed his Jesuit teachers. Italy was then undergoing political upheaval, and the young man-a nephew of the great patriot Candido Augusto Vecchi-became deeply engrossed in its causes; instead of continuing his studies at the University, he lingered at home absorbing what he could of politics and statesmanship-and their basis, philosophy. When twenty-two, he began medical studies at the University of Bologna, his "mind still filled with the critique of pure reason" (as he says in his unpublished autobiography). After an interlude at the University of Naples and a year or so as assistant at the Eye Clinic of Magni, he received the M.D. at Bologna (1868). Soon thereafter, he became Vella's assistant at the Physiological Institute, a position which he held until 1874. In this period falls what he considered a crucial event: his year and a half period of study at the Physiological Institute of the University of Leipzig (1872-73). "This stay in Germany is the most important period of my life as a scientist; it has left in me deep and lasting impressions. In a feeling of gratitude and justice which I shall harbor forever, I recognize Ludwig as my real teacher."

It was quite natural that Luciani's mind greatly profited by the sceptical and practical attitude of this German physiologist. His increased stature soon gained him recognition: successively he became Privatdozent in general pathology in Bologna (1873), Extraordinarius in the same field in Parma (1875), and Ordinarius of physiology at Siena (1880), Florence (1883) and finally Rome (1893-1917). There he died from a chronic disease of the genitourinary tract.

High honors had been bestowed upon him both at home and abroad. In 1895, the Accademia dei Lincei received him as socio nazionale, he was elected Rector of the University of Rome, and from 1905 until his death he was a senator. From academies and societies in Leipzig, London and Gottingen came honorary memberships.

As early as 1864, while a second-year medical student, Luciani presented his first paper, Vom vergleichenden organischen Plaslizismus, to his teacher, Giovanni Franceschi, who found so much of merit in it that he had it printed without consulting Luciani. His first important discovery was made in the laboratory of Ludwig. Observations based on the earlier experiments of Stannius had enabled him to distinguish three phases of cardiac activity preceding heart failure; the phenomena of the attack, the periodic rhythm, and the crisis (collectively "Luciani's phenomenon"). These experiments led him to important theoretical conclusions on the nature of the automatic activity of the heart; later he succeeded in applying them to the activity of the respiratory centers, the periodic rhythm of which he studied (Cheyne-Stokes phenomenon).

On returning to Italy, he centered his interests on physiology of the nervous system. In Parma, his friend Tamburini provided the opportunity for him to work at the insane asylum at near-by Reggio. The fruits of this period were the classical studies on cerebral localization of function,' undertaken together with Tamburini and Seppilli. In 1878, he established the theory of the cortical pathogenesis of epilepsy.* But it was during his Florentine period that he wrote the two monographs on which his fame securely rests: the physiology of starvation in man (in which he distinguished three stages—hunger, physiological inanition, pathological inanition),* and the physiology and pathology of the cerebellum., In the latter monograph, he described his observations on decerebellated dogs and apes. While Ferrier had thought it impossible to keep mammals alive after destruction of the cerebellum, he now conceded his error and asserted that Luciani "was the first to examine the consequences of partial or total extirpation of the cerebellum in higher mammals by skilfully planned and executed experiments." Thanks to his extraordinary skill, Luciani was able to keep decerebellated dogs and monkeys alive for as long as one year. This work initiated the modern study of cerebellar function; it led him to the classic theory that the cerebellum serves as a center for tonic, sthenic and static functions, a theory now accepted as fact.

His last years were devoted to the completion of his five-volume treatise on human physiology,* which was brilliantly conceived and written with great clarity and fluency. The text reached five editions in Italian, and was translated into several foreign languages including English.

His keen and paternal interest in the guidance of young workers and his contagious enthusiasm and excellence as a speaker gained him such pupils as Marchi, De Sanctis and Baglioni. His fundamental belief, often expressed in his teaching and writing, was that the physician should think physiologically and that physiology and pathology are inseparable.

ARMANDO FERRARO
Hialeah, Florida
_________
References
*Riv. sper. freniat., 1879, 5:1-76 (with Tamburini). *Ibid., 1878, 4:617-646. *Fisiologia del digiuno: studi sull'uomo. Firenze, Le Monnier, 1881. 411 cerveletto. Nuovi studi di fisiologia normale e patologica. Firenze, Le Monnier, 1891. *Fisiologia dell'uomo. Milano, Societa edit. libraria, 1901-11 (ed. 5, 1919-21) (Engl. trans. by Welby. London, Macmillan, 1911-21).

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