Jean Martin Charcot

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Charcot, Jean Martin

(zhäN märtăN` shärkō`), 1825–93, French neurologist. At the Salpêtrière in Paris he developed the greatest clinic of his time for diseases of the nervous system. He made many important observations on these diseases, described the characteristics of tabes dorsalis, differentiated multiple sclerosis and paralysis agitans, recognized that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was a disease of the motor neurons, and wrote on many neurological subjects. He experimented with hypnosis of his "hysterical" female patients in lectures that often resembled entertainments rather than medical treatments. Nonetheless, Charcot's insight into the nature of hysteria was credited by Sigmund FreudFreud, Sigmund
, 1856–1939, Austrian psychiatrist, founder of psychoanalysis. Born in Moravia, he lived most of his life in Vienna, receiving his medical degree from the Univ. of Vienna in 1881.

His medical career began with an apprenticeship (1885–86) under J.
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, his pupil, with having contributed to the early psychoanalytic formulations on the subject.

Bibliography

See biography by G. Guillain (1959); study by A. R. Owen (1971); A. Hustvedt, Medical Muses: Hysteria in Nineteenth-Century Paris (2011).

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