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:

Sir Charles Scott Sherrington

(Nov 27, 1857 – Mar 4, 1952)

💠English Neurophysiologist

His contributions…

🔹Charles Scott Sherrington was born in London and studied medicine at St Thomas Hospital in 1876. Then he went to Cambridge and studied physiology from the “Father of British Physiology,” – Sir Michael Foster.

🔹After his studies, he travelled to Europe and worked under Dr. Rudolf Virchow and Dr. Robert Koch. Thereby, Sherrington got a strong foundation in physiology, bacteriology, histology and pathology.

🔹Subsequently, he began his career in Brown Institute for Advanced Physiological and Pathological Research, London in 1891. In fact, that was a main centre for human and animal physiological and pathological research.

🔹He then became a Professor of Physiology at Liverpool, where he did his extensive research on cats, dogs, monkeys and apes.

🔹Sherrington did a series of excellent experiments in the field of physiology. Those are:

🔅He worked and established the segmental distribution of the spinal dorsal and ventral roots and mapped the sensory dermatomes.

🔅He discovered that unique muscles (muscle spindles) initiate the stretch reflex.

🔅He further discovered Sherrington’s Law, which states that “For every activated neuron of a muscle, there is a corresponding inhibition of the opposing muscle.”

🔅He then coined the term Proprioception (1893).

🔅Ultimately, he concluded that the cerebellum is the head ganglion of the proprioceptive system.

🔅Furthermore, he was the first to describe the minute gap between neurons connecting the different cells and coined the term Synapse.

🔅He also studied the connection between the brain and the spinal cord by way of the pyramidal tract.

🔅 Additionally, he elucidated the Decerebrate rigidity in the cats.

🔹In other words, he brought the brain and the muscles together in a unified explanation of human co-ordination.

🔹Finally, he summarised all his investigations and stated that the nervous system acts as a coordinator of various parts of the body and that reflexes are the simplest expressions of the interactive action of it.

🔹Moreover, he published his experiences in “The Integrative Action of the Nervous System” in 1916. Actually, the book helped shape the understanding of the central nervous system.

🔹In order to honour his work on the Functions of Neurons, the most prestigious Nobel Prize for Medicine was offered to Sherrington in 1932.

🔹While he was at Liverpool and Oxford, he collected hundreds of microscopic slides and kept in a specially constructed box labelled “Sir Charles Sherrington’s Histology Demonstration Slides“.

🔹After he retired from his medical service, he continued to work on his poetic, historical and philosophical interests. He also published a book Man on His Nature which explores the philosophical thoughts about the mind, the human existence, and God in connection with natural theology.

🔹Sir Charles Scott Sherrington, an eminent man in the field of medicine, died at the age of 95. He had a research career spanning more than 50 years and helped lay the foundations for modern neurophysiology.

A Day to Commemorate

 A Phenomenal Neurophysiologist

Sir Charles Scott Sherrington 🙏🏼

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