1845. Moritz H. Romberg

Moritz Heinrich Romberg (1795-1873) was a German physician and pioneer in the field of neurology. He received the medical degree in Berlin in 1817 with a dissertation on rickets, reporting the first description of achondroplasia (or congenital rickets). In Vienna, where he initially worked, became a close friend of Johann Peter Frank (1745-1821), who directed towards the study of nervous diseases. In 1845 he was appointed as the chair of special pathology and therapy and director of the Royal Policlinic in Berlin.

Romberg’s most important contribution was in the field of neuropathology, describing the eponymous physical sign, which indicates dysfunction of the posterior columns of the spinal cord in tabes dorsalis. He was the founder of the teaching of neuralgia ciliaris. His textbook, Lehrbuch der Nervenkrankheiten des Menschen (1840-1846) was the first systematic textbook in neurology where, for the first time, the existing knowledge of the physiology of the nervous system was included. He is also recalled for the eponym of Parry-Romberg syndrome.

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