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Minds Behind the BrainA history of the pioneers and their discoveries$
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Stanley Finger

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195181821

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181821.001.0001

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Jean-Martin Charcot: Clinical Neurology Comes of Age

Jean-Martin Charcot: Clinical Neurology Comes of Age

(p.177) 12 Jean-Martin Charcot: Clinical Neurology Comes of Age
Minds Behind the Brain

Stanley Finger (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

During the first half of the 19th century, most neurological diseases were categorized on the basis of a single feature, such as a paralysis or a tremor. Labeling and classifying neurological diseases took on a different, more modern form between 1862 and 1870, when observable clinical signs were tied to underlying pathological changes. The idea of learning more about diseases by conducting autopsies was to a large extent a French achievement, with Jean-Marie Charcot leading the way. Due largely to the efforts of Charcot, paralyses, tremors, and changes in sensitivity were finally looked upon as signs (what the observer sees) and symptoms (what the patient reports), rather than as diseases. At the same time, more attention began to be paid to syndromes (groups of signs and symptoms that go together) than at any time in the past. This chapter looks at Charcot's work on multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and hysteria, as well as his legacy in the field of clinical neurology.

Keywords:   Jean-Marie Charcot, clinical neurology, neurological diseases, syndromes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, hysteria, autopsies

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