Alexander Robertson (1834–1908): Glasgow’s Pioneer Aphasiologist and Epileptologist

Eadie, Mervyn (2015) Alexander Robertson (1834–1908): Glasgow’s Pioneer Aphasiologist and Epileptologist. Journal of the History of the Neurosciences, 24 3: 292-302. doi:10.1080/0964704X.2014.1000065


Author Eadie, Mervyn
Title Alexander Robertson (1834–1908): Glasgow’s Pioneer Aphasiologist and Epileptologist
Journal name Journal of the History of the Neurosciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1744-5213
0964-704X
Publication date 2015-03-16
Year available 2015
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1080/0964704X.2014.1000065
Volume 24
Issue 3
Start page 292
End page 302
Total pages 11
Place of publication Abingdon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Abstract Alexander Robertson (1834–1908) was a Glasgow physician whose professional career was involved mainly with institutional-based practice but who published significant insights into the anatomical background to aphasia (1867) and the mechanisms of focal epileptogenesis (1869). His aphasiology ideas, including his suggestion that disconnection between cerebral centers involved in speech was responsible for the phenomenon, made him one of the earliest members of the late-nineteenth-century school of aphasia diagram makers. His view of epileptogenesis was that contralateral convulsing arose from irritation in a local area of pathology on the surface of the cerebral cortex after the irritation spread to a cortical motor center and then down the motor pathway to the striatum, while spreading within the cortex itself caused loss of consciousness. This interpretation contains much of the essence of the present-day understanding of cortical epileptogenesis. The origin of this interpretation is often attributed to John Hughlings Jackson, but Robertson published the idea in full a year or two prior to Jackson. However, Robertson’s original insights were hardly noticed at the time they were published and have since almost entirely been ignored.
Keyword aphasia
convulsion
cortex
epileptogenesis
Robertson
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
 
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