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May 1989

Toscanini's Fumble and Other Tales of Clinical Neurology

Author Affiliations

Rochester, NY

Arch Neurol. 1989;46(5):476. doi:10.1001/archneur.1989.00520410010003

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Klawans' collection of neurologic essays is meant for the equivalent of the nonmedical audience at Charcot's Tuesday morning lecture-demonstrations: persons intrigued by the aberrations of the brain and by the skills—"Maigretean," Oliver Sacks might call them—needed to puzzle them out. (Klawans writes about Maigret without drawing attention to himself, but the resemblance he sees between the professions of neurologist and detective is made clear.)

The formula he uses is to present a case in the form of a biographical sketch, and to interlard didactic material. He sticks to what he knows well (Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases), or to what all neurologists know well (trigeminal neuralgia, transient ischemic attack), but he always has a special point to make: how information accrues, and the unknown suddenly or gradually becomes the known; how misdiagnosis may result from the narrowness of one person's range of experience and information; how the barrier between two minds

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