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December 1989

The Dream King's Psychiatrist Bernhard von Gudden (1824-1886): A Life Committed to Rationality

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology and the Institute of Medical Psychology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, West Germany (Drs Danek and Distel), and the Department of Neurology, Technical University, Munich, West Germany (Dr Gudden).

Arch Neurol. 1989;46(12):1349-1353. doi:10.1001/archneur.1989.00520480093026

• Bernhard von Gudden's life is commemorated as being exemplary for a generation of physicians who in the last century established some of the still valid approaches of modern neuroanatomy, neurology, and psychiatry. His personal contribution to neuroanatomy was the experimental method, major technical advances, and the clarification of the fiber course in the optic chiasm. As a psychiatrist he introduced the humanitarian principle of "no restraint" to German asylums. Although he did not attempt to develop a systematic nosology, he nevertheless founded an influential school of psychiatrists (eg, Forel, Kraepelin, and Nissl). For many years Gudden served as consulting psychiatrist to Bavaria's royal family and drowned together with his patient, King Ludwig II, whose sanity had been questioned.

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