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History of Neurology
February 2005

Vittorio Marchi’s Method of Staining Degenerating Nervous Fibers and the Tragedy of His Life

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Institute of Human Physiology, Università Cattolica, Rome, Italy.



Arch Neurol. 2005;62(2):321-325. doi:10.1001/archneur.62.2.321

Vittorio Marchi, the Italian histologist who lived in the second half of the 19th century, is generally remembered by neuroscientists for the staining method that bears his name. Marchi’s method of staining degenerating myelin was described in his pioneering publication of 1886.1 His method has been used for more than a century, and together with the latest generation of staining techniques, it continues to be cited worldwide in all the textbooks of microscopy, histology, neuroanatomy, and neurology.