Concept

Jean-Martin Charcot

Summary
Jean-Martin Charcot ( ʃaʁko ; 29 November 1825 – 16 August 1893) was a French neurologist and professor of anatomical pathology. He worked on hypnosis and hysteria, in particular with his hysteria patient Louise Augustine Gleizes. Charcot is known as "the founder of modern neurology", and his name has been associated with at least 15 medical eponyms, including various conditions sometimes referred to as Charcot diseases. Charcot has been referred to as "the father of French neurology and one of the world's pioneers of neurology". His work greatly influenced the developing fields of neurology and psychology; modern psychiatry owes much to the work of Charcot and his direct followers. He was the "foremost neurologist of late nineteenth-century France" and has been called "the Napoleon of the neuroses". Born in Paris, Charcot worked and taught at the famous Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital for 33 years. His reputation as an instructor drew students from all over Europe. In 1882, he established a neurology clinic at Salpêtrière, which was the first of its kind in Europe. Charcot was a part of the French neurological tradition and studied under, and greatly revered, Duchenne de Boulogne. "He married a rich widow, Madame Durvis, in 1864 and had two children, Jeanne and Jean-Baptiste, who later became a doctor and a famous polar explorer". He has been described as an atheist. Charcot's primary focus was neurology. He named and was the first to describe multiple sclerosis. Summarizing previous reports and adding his own clinical and pathological observations, Charcot called the disease sclérose en plaques. The three signs of multiple sclerosis now known as Charcot's triad 1 are nystagmus, intention tremor, and telegraphic speech, though these are not unique to MS. Charcot also observed cognition changes, describing his patients as having a "marked enfeeblement of the memory" and "conceptions that formed slowly". He was also the first to describe a disorder known as Charcot joint or Charcot arthropathy, a degeneration of joint surfaces resulting from loss of proprioception.
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