The fall issue of the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences is now online. The issue includes pieces on the history of investigations of facial palsy, the structure of nerve tissue, and a 17th century case of word blindness. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.
“Early Observations on Facial Palsy,” by J. M. S. Pearce. The abstract reads,
Before Charles Bell’s eponymous account of facial palsy, physicians of the Graeco-Roman era had chronicled the condition. The later neglected accounts of the Persian physicians Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn Sahl Rabban al-Tabari and Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakarīya Rāzi (“Rhazes”) and Avicenna in the first millennium are presented here as major descriptive works preceding the later description by Stalpart van der Wiel in the seventeenth century and those of Friedreich and Bell at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries.
“Discovering the Structure of Nerve Tissue: Part 2: Gabriel Valentin, Robert Remak, and Jan Evangelista Purkynĕ,” by Alexandr Chvátal. The abstract reads, Continue reading New Issue JHN: Facial Palsy, Nerve Tissue, & More
The latest issue of the Journal of the History of the Neuroscience is now online (find it here). Included in this issue are articles on the first comparative survey of the microscopic anatomy of vertebrate brains, tuberculosis-related aphasia in the nineteenth century, and the treatise “De structura nervorum” by Jirí Procháska. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.
“Jirí Procháska (1749-1820): Part 2: “De structura nervorum”–Studies on a Structure of the Nervous System,” by Alexandr Chvátal. The abstract reads:
The treatise “De structura nervorum” by Jirí Procháska was published in 1779 and is remarkable not only for its anatomical and histological findings but also for its historical introduction, which contains a detailed bibliographical review of the contemporary knowledge of the structure of the nervous tissue. Unfortunately, the treatise has never been translated from the Latin language, but it deserves further analysis as a historical document about the level of neuroscience research conducted by a famous Czech scholar. The present article includes a historical overview of the contemporary knowledge of the structure of the nervous tissue up to the late eighteenth century from the perspective of today, a translation of selected chapters from Prochaska’s treatise (a historical introduction about the medieval knowledge of the structure of the nervous tissue and an interpretation of his neurohistological observations), and an analysis of Jirí Prochaska’s results in light of current knowledge.
Continue reading In the New Issue of JHN: Jirí Procháska, Ludwig Edinger, & More
An article in the January issue of the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences may be of interest to some AHP readers. In “Mysterious ‘Monsieur Leborgne’: The Mystery of the Famous Patient in the History of Neuropsychology is Explained,” Domanski discusses the biographical lineage of arguably the most important patient in neuroscience history: the Frenchman “Monsieur Leborgne.” The patient’s identity had remained a mystery until this article. Full article details below:
“Mysterious ‘Monsieur Leborgne’: The Mystery of the Famous Patient in the History of Neuropsychology is Explained,” by C.W. Domanski. The abstract reads:
As of spring 2011, 150 years have passed since the death of one of the most famous neurological patients of the nineteenth century. A Frenchman, “Monsieur Leborgne” also known by the nickname “Tan,” was hospitalized due to an almost complete loss of speech. His case was presented in 1861, during a seating of the Société d’Anthropologie de Paris by a physician, Pierre Paul Broca (1824-1880), who used this occasion to report that he had discovered, in the middle part of patient’s left frontal lobe, the cortical speech center. This area was later named “Broca’s area.” Both the patient and his medical records were the subject of numerous descriptions and citations in the medical literature. The patient’s full identity and social background has remained a mystery until now. This article presents biographical data concerning Leborgne and his family based on archive registers in France.