This book traces the life and scientific career of Dr. John Hughlings Jackson (1835-1911), the English physician who pioneered the development of neurology as a medical specialty during the reign of Queen Victoria. Jackson made a number of scientific discoveries in several areas of higher nervous activity and language, and contributed greatly to the study of various types of epilepsy. He isolated the form of epilepsy associated with localized convulsive seizures, known as Jacksonian epilepsy. His research on epilepsy stretched across a broad spectrum and included uncinate attacks, intellectual aurae, and many other manifestations, which are now collectively covered by the term temporal lobe epilepsy. He was also among the first to recognize the pattern of disease of the cerebellum.
Jackson's research was not limited to epilepsy, and encompassed studies in aphasia and neuro-ophthalmology. Following the concepts of the philosopher Herbert Spencer, Jackson devised a hierarchy of the nervous system with positive and negative manifestations of neurological activity. His work was based on a detailed, insightful evaluation of the clinical symptoms of diseases of the brain, coupled with meticulous, repeated studies of their phenomena. Jackson's observations of localized brain lesions led to the first cases of neurosurgical ablation of brain tumours. Much of his original work still forms the foundation of our contemporary understanding of the dissolution of language caused by disease.
A straightforward, comprehensive account of the life of an eminent physician, John Hughlings Jackson: Father of English Neurology is written as a monument to a man who aroused the deepest respect and affection in his students and colleagues. Neurologists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, pathologists, neuroscientists, residents and medical students will find this book a source of inspiration, and will relish its rare description of medicine in 19th century England.