Jean-Martin Charcot

Charcot, Jean Martin

Jean Martin Charcot (zhäN märtăN´ shärkō´), 1825–93, French neurologist. At the Salpêtrière in Paris he developed the greatest clinic of his time for diseases of the nervous system. He made many important observations on these diseases, described the characteristics of tabes dorsalis, differentiated multiple sclerosis and paralysis agitans, recognized that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was a disease of the motor neurons, and wrote on many neurological subjects. He experimented with hypnosis of his "hysterical" female patients in lectures that often resembled entertainments rather than medical treatments. Nonetheless, Charcot's insight into the nature of hysteria was credited by Sigmund Freud, his pupil, with having contributed to the early psychoanalytic formulations on the subject.

See biography by G. Guillain (1959); study by A. R. Owen (1971); A. Hustvedt, Medical Muses: Hysteria in Nineteenth-Century Paris (2011).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Jean-Martin Charcot: Selected full-text books and articles

Classics in Psychology
Thorne Shipley.
Philosophical Library, 1961
Librarian’s tip: "Clinical Lectures on Certain Diseases of the Nervous System" by Jean Martin Charcot begins on p. 370
Minds behind the Brain: A History of the Pioneers and Their Discoveries
Stanley Finger.
Oxford University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 12 "Jean-Martin Charcot: Clinical Neurology Comes of Age"
Classic Cases in Neuropsychology
Chris Code; Claus-W. Wallesch; Yves Joanette; André Roch Lecours.
Psychology Press, vol.1, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Charcot's Case of Impaired Imagery"
Illness and Healing Alternatives in Western Europe
Marijke Gijswijt-Hofstra; Hilary Marland; Hans De Waardt.
Routledge, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Charcot's Demons: Retrospective Medicine and Historical Diagnosis in the Writings of the Salpetriere School"
The Neuropsychology of Dreams: A Clinico-Anatomical Study
Mark Solms.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "The Classic Case Reports of Charcot-Wilbrand Syndrome," Chap. 3 "Charcot's Variant of the Charcot-Wilbrand Syndrome: Cessation or Restriction of Visual Dream-Imagery," and Chap. 10 "The Charcot-Wilbrand Syndrome Reconsidered"
The Discovery of the Unconscious: The History and Evolution of Dynamic Psychiatry
Henri F. Ellenberger.
Basic Books, 1970
Librarian’s tip: "Charcot and the Salpetriere School" begins on p. 89
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