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:

Prof. Dr. Eduard Hitzig

(Feb 6, 1838 – Aug 20, 1907)

💠German Neurophysiologist

His contributions…

🔹Hitzig studied medicine at the Universities of Berlin and Wurzburg under very famous teachers Rudolf Virchow, Heinrich Romberg and Friedrich Otto Westpal and then received his doctorate in 1862.

🔹In 1875, he got appointed as a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Zurich and then became a Professor at the University of Halle in the year 1885 – where he served until his retirement.

🔹During the year 1800, the neuroscientists had started to assign the functions of cerebral cortex.

🔹After some time, Dr. Paul Broca, a French physician, had proposed in 1861 that damage to the left frontal lobe (later named as Broca’s area) leads to aphasia.

🔹Simultaneously, the British Neurologist Dr. John Hughlings Jackson had described the “Jacksonian march” and hypothesized that different areas in the cortex might be responsible for the movement in different parts of the body. 

🔹Later, in the year 1870, Dr. Hitzig along with Dr. Gustav Fritsch, a German Physiologist, extended their experimental support for Jackson’s hypothesized motor areas of the brain.

🔹Further they probed the Cerebral Cortex of the Dog and discovered that electrical stimulation at different areas of the cerebrum causes movement in the dog’s contralateral muscles.

🔹Thereby they identified the Brain’s “Primary Motor Cortex” – A vertical strip on the cerebrum.

🔹Furthermore, his work was published as “On the Electrical Excitability of the Cerebrum” in 1870.

🔹This was the very first time an experimentation test had been done as a localization study regarding the brain and electric current. Subsequently, their discovery regarding the brain became a cornerstone in brain research.

A Day to Commemorate

An Eminent Neuroscientist

Prof. Dr. Eduard Hitzig 🙏

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