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March 31, 1906


Author Affiliations

Professor of the Principles and Practice of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University; Physician-in-Chief to the Johns Hopkins Hospital. BALTIMORE.

JAMA. 1906;XLVI(13):929-935. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.62510400007001b

I. INTRODUCTION.  I have been invited to speak on the subject of "The Neurons" and to outline to you the present state of knowledge concerning them. No topic has led to more animated discussion, perhaps, during the past ten years. Indeed, the word "neuron," which sprang so immediately into vogue after its introduction by Waldeyer in 1891, appears to have excited, by virtue of its rapid and widespread popularity, a feeling of bitter hostility, of unrelenting antagonism in certain circles. Hailed at its advent as the simplifier and revolutionist of our knowledge of the nervous system, and enthusiastically adopted by teachers of anatomy, physiology and pathology, the neuron doctrine has in subsequent years been subjected to the fiercest of assaults; not only has the truth of its tenets been questioned; its adversaries even go so far as to designate it as "a real danger to science."The neurohistologic world appears