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September 27, 1965


JAMA. 1965;193(13):1119-1120. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090130047018

Romberg, author of the first nosology of diseases of the nervous system, was born in Meiningen, capital of the former Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen and since 1946 just inside the border of East Germany. Throughout the treatise, treatment was systematized, whereas in the section on tabes dorsalis, ataxia in patients with central nervous system syphilis— Romberg's sign—was described. Romberg's inaugural dissertation, presented in 1817 for graduation from the University of Berlin, discussed achondroplasia (congenital rickets, rachitide congenita),1 a subject to which he never returned in his writing. After formal education he remained in Berlin and in proper time became professor of medicine and director of the Royal Polyclinic Institute of Friedrich Wilhelm University. His Lehrbuch der Nervenkrankheiten, which emphasized the significance of physiological principles in interpreting neurological function, appeared first in 1840. An English translation in 1853 sponsored by the Sydenham Society contained the preface to the first and second editions.

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