CME INDIA Presentation by ⚜ Dr. M. Gowri Sankar, MD, Senior Assistant Professor, Dept. of General Medicine, Government Medical College and ESI Hospital, Coimbatore.

Today’s History Feature:

Dr. Duchenne de Boulogne

(Sept 17, 1806 – Sept 15, 1875)

💠French Neurologist 

His contributions…

🔸Duchenne was born in France. His father was a mariner. Duchenne studied medicine in Paris and became a physician in 1831.
🔸Thereupon, he practiced medicine in his native town. Unfortunately he lost his wife during childbirth, which made him very depressed and he almost abandoned the field of medicine.
🔸After many years, he moved to Paris at his age of 36. There he got fascinated by Luigi Galvani, an Italian physician whose work on static-electricity caused the muscle twitch in frogs.
🔸In early 1840, Duchenne used Michael Faraday’s recently invented induction coil to apply currents to study muscle twitch in the human body.
🔸Subsequently, he did his extensive clinical experiments on the muscle contractions of limbs. He also carefully mapped the muscles that cause smiles, frowns, looks of anxiety and other facial expressions.
🔸He further used Faradic AC currents to treat paralysis and thereby, his pioneering work, eventually led to the development of the field of Neurology.
🔸He was the first to describe about several nervous and muscular disorders. 
🔸His Eponyms…
🔅 Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy first described in 1868.
🔅 Duchenne-Aran spinal muscular atrophy.
🔅 Duchenne-Erb paralysis.
🔅 Duchenne’s disease or Tabes dorsalis.
🔅 Duchenne’s paralysis or Progressive bulbar palsy.
🔅 Duchenne’s trocar – The first clinician who practiced muscle biopsy, with an invention of his trocar.
🔸Furthermore, he was one of the early adaptor of the photography technology and used it to document his results.
🔸As a result, he created a series of famous photographs showing how the muscles of the face were used to create facial expressions.
🔸He also noted that a fake smile used only the muscles around the mouth but a genuine smile caused facial contractions around the eyes. Finally, he concluded that “Human expressions are the gateway to the soul of man.”
🔸Moreover, he penned his observations and published a book called “The Mechanism of Human Facial Expression” with his actual photographs in 1862.
🔸In addition, Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot who is considered the Father of Modern Neurology acknowledged Dr. Duchenne as “My Teacher in Neurology.”
🔸In fact, his contributions to the medical field are unparalled. He educated the people about the recent inventions of his time – Galvanic electric current, Faraday’s induction coil and the use of photography.
🔸Consequently, he played an essential role in establishing the basis for clinical neurology and is remembered as the “Father of Electrotherapy and Neuropathology.”

A Day to Commemorate…

An Inspiring Neurologist of all Times

Dr. Duchenne de Boulogne 🙏🏼

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