Marshall Hall, the reflex arc and epilepsy

Eadie, M. J. (2008) Marshall Hall, the reflex arc and epilepsy. The journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, 38 2: 167-171.

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Author Eadie, M. J.
Title Marshall Hall, the reflex arc and epilepsy
Journal name The journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1478-2715
Publication date 2008
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 38
Issue 2
Start page 167
End page 171
Total pages 5
Place of publication Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Publisher Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Collection year 2009
Language eng
Subject 1202 Building
2700 Medicine
3304 Education
Formatted abstract
 Marshall Hall (1790–1857), who graduated from the University of  Edinburgh’s Medical School in 1812, was considered one of the greatest  physiologists of his day. He advanced knowledge in various areas of medicine, in particular elucidating the mechanism of reflex activity in 1833. Hall suggested that convulsive epileptic seizures arose from heightened activity in the afferent limb or the central component of the reflex arc. From 1838 onwards he developed the idea that reflex-mediated neck muscle spasm in seizures obstructed cerebral venous return, congested the brain and thus caused unconsciousness. Associated  reflex-mediated laryngeal spasm then caused convulsing. This was the most
comprehensive physiologically based explanation of the major features of the convulsive epileptic seizure then available. Hall subsequently advocated and employed tracheotomy to prevent epileptic convulsing. His idea was taken up,
modified and made more acceptable by others, and for a generation was the widely acknowledged basis for interpreting epileptogenesis. However, from 1870 onwards it was superseded by John Hughlings Jackson’s accumulating evidence
that epileptic seizures often arose in the cerebral cortex.
Keyword Epilepsy
Marshall Hall
Reflex arc
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
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