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August 7, 1937


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Diseases of the Nervous System, Harvard Medical School.

JAMA. 1937;109(6):399-402. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780320001001

The beginnings of neurology as a separate discipline of medicine are so clearly defined that one may say: Neurology began with Romberg, a hundred years ago. His famous "propedeutic clinic" at Berlin, where systematic neurologic examination and clinical diagnosis were first carried out, was an active institution in 1837, and his textbook on nervous diseases, the first formal treatise on the subject, followed in 1840 and 1846. Almost contemporary in Paris that strange and interesting figure Duchenne of Boulogne was haunting the larger Paris hospitals, delving into case histories and unselfishly devoting himself to neurology and electrophysiology. An even more important Parisian figure was soon to follow in Charcot, who created the greatest neurologic clinic of modern times and gave lessons in visualization which few students could ever forget. Marie and Dejerine carried on the great French tradition even to our times, as did Erb in Heidelberg, following the footsteps

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