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. Hermann Oppenheim

(Jan 1, 1858 – May 5, 1919)

💠German Neurologist

His contributions…

🔸Oppenheim was praised as one of the leading Neurologist of Germany during his period.

🔸He studied medicine from the Universities of Berlin, Gottingen & Bonn in Germany.

🔸Because of the denial of his Professorship (probably because of his Jewish descent), he established his own private polyclinic at Berlin in 1890, which was the first clinic opened at that period. Many of his scientific publications emerged from this clinic. Hence, his clinic became a recognized centre for neurology.

🔸Subsequently, he paid attention on movement disorders and was the first to describe Generalized Dystonia, which he termed as Dystonia Musculorum Deformans.

🔸Further, he coined the word Dystonia in 1911 and was the first to define Restless Leg Syndrome as a neurological illness and first to recognize that it appears in families.

🔸Basically, he was a brilliant diagnostician and the first who described….

🔅Bladder symptoms in Multiple Sclerosis.

🔅 Useless hands of Oppenheim’s in Multiple Sclerosis- Hand loses useful function due to proprioception loss with relatively preserved motor function seen in ipsilateral demyelination in the posterior column of cervical cord

🔅Oppenheim’s reflex in pyramidal tract lesion in 1902.

🔅Oppenheim’s disease or amyotonia congenita.

🔸Moreover, he was considered the most important historical figure in study of Music and Neurology.

🔸In the year 1889, he introduced the term Traumatic Neurosis and then he did an extensive research on a new type of war-related condition during first world war, which is known as War shakers or Shell shock. The soldiers of first world war suffered from various disorders such as shaking hands, tics, tremors, paralysis, locomotor disorders, mutism and those were collectively named as war shakers.

🔸Additionally, he wrote a book called “A Textbook of Neurology” published in seven editions and in various languages.

🔸Also, he was one of the founders of the German Journal of Neurology in 1890.

🔸At one particular moment, an American Neurologist Dr. William Spiller was asked to write a book on neurology. But he remarked that when I can write a better book than Dr. Oppenheim’s I will do so.

🔸In fact, Dr. Oppenheim was denied in earlier days of his career, but later, he became a corner stone of his field. To honor his work, the German Dystonia Society presents the “Oppenheim’s Prize” every two years to promote research in the field of dystonia.

A Day to Commemorate

An Eminent Neurologist

Dr. Hermann Oppenheim 🙏🏼

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