1917. Pierre Marie

Pierre Marie (1853-1940) was a French neurologist and one of the most famous students of Charcot. From 1878 he worked with Charcot at the Salpêtrière and Bicêtre in Paris, soon becoming one of Charcot’s most outstanding students and, in particular, serving as his laboratory and clinic chief and special assistant. In 1883 he received his medical doctorate with a classical dissertation on Basedow’s disease, describing the tremor observed in the extended arms and fingers in patients suffering from this condition. He was appointed as hospital physician five years later (1888), presenting to the faculty a series of lectures on diseases of the spinal cord in that period. In 1897 he was appointed as physician at the Bicêtre, where he created one of the first neurological services. In this period, he contrasted the views of Pierre Paul Broca (1824-1880) and Karl Wernicke (1848-1905) on the localisation of the speech center. In 1907 he attained the chair of pathological anatomy at the Faculty of Medicine, completely modernized the teaching of pathological anatomy in medical schools, also thanks to the help of Gustave Roussy (1874-1948), his successor. In 1917 Marie was appointed to the chair of neurology, a position he held until 1925. This chair had been created for Charcot and occupied since his tenure by Fulgence Raymond (1844-1919), Édouard Brissaud (1852-1909) and Joseph Jules Dejerine (1849-1917).

Between 1885 and 1910, the most productive period of his career, Marie wrote numerous articles and book, providing the first description of acromegaly (1891), the first definition of muscular atrophy type Charcot-Marie (1886), pulmonary hypertrophic osteoarthropathy (1890), cerebellar heredotaxia (1893), cleidocranial dyssostosis (1897) and rhizomelic spondylosis (1898). In 1893 he founded with Brissaud the Revue neurologique and he was also the first general secretary of the French Neurological Society.

His name is currently associated to numerous eponyms, which testify the role of Pierre Marie in the development of clinical neurology:

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