Brown-Sequard: An Improbable Genius Who Transformed Medicine

Hardcover | November 27, 2010

byMichael J. Aminoff

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Brown-Seguard: An Improbable Genius Who Transformed Medicine traces the strange career of an eccentric, restless, widely admired, nineteenth-century physician-scientist who eventually came to be scorned by antivivisectionists for his work on animals, by churchgoers who believed that heencouraged licentious behavior, and by other scientists for his unorthodox views and for claims that, in fact, he never made. An improbable genius whose colorful life was characterized by dramatic reversals of fortune, he was a founder-physician of England's premier neurological hospital and heldimportant professorships in America and France. Brown-Seguard identified the sensory pathways in the spinal cord and emphasized functional processes in the integrative actions of the nervous system, thereby anticipating modern concepts of how the brain operates. He also discovered the function of the nerves that supply the blood vessels andthereby control their caliber, and the associated reflexes that adjust the circulation to bodily needs. He was the first to show that the adrenal glands are essential to life and suggested that other organs have internal secretions. He injected himself with ground-up animal testicles, claiming aninvigorating effect, and this approach led to the development of modern hormone replacement therapy. Charles-Edouard Brown-Seguard was reportedly "one of the greatest discover of facts that the world has ever seen". It has also been suggested that "if his reasoning power had equaled his power of observation he might have done for physiology what Newton did for physics." In fact, scientificadvances in the years since his death have provided increasing support for many of his once-ridiculed beliefs.

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Brown-Seguard: An Improbable Genius Who Transformed Medicine traces the strange career of an eccentric, restless, widely admired, nineteenth-century physician-scientist who eventually came to be scorned by antivivisectionists for his work on animals, by churchgoers who believed that heencouraged licentious behavior, and by other scient...

Dr. Aminoff was born and educated in England. He moved to California in 1974, where he is Professor of Neurology at the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco. He is well known as a neurologist, clinical neurophysiologist, educator, author, journal editor, and medical historian.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:November 27, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199742634

ISBN - 13:9780199742639

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgements1. Prologue: The Death of a Professor2. At Home in Mauritius3. A Medical Student in Paris4. Great Expectations5. The Physics of the Circulation: Why we don't faint on standing and get bedsores on lying still for too long6. Fame in the Making7. Fame and Fortune in Britain: A Piece of Cake8. Broken Dreams and Promises9. Musical Chairs10. Thoughts about the Brain11. The Disease of Devils and Demons12. The Magnificent Maverick13. A New System of Medicine14. Scenes from the World of a Scientist15. A Backward Glance and A ReckoningGeneral Biographical referencesAppendixGlossaryIndex