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Jean-Martin Charcot
Jean-Martin Charcot.jpg
Born (1825-11-29)29 November 1825
Died 16 August 1893(1893-08-16) (aged 67)
Lac des Settons, Nièvre, France
Nationality French
Known for Studying and discovering neurological diseases
Scientific career
Fields Neurologist and professor of anatomical pathology
Institutions Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital

Jean-Martin Charcot (29 November 1825 – 16 August 1893) was a French neurologist and professor of anatomical pathology. He is best known today for his work on hypnosis and hysteria. Also known as "the founder of modern neurology", his name has been associated with at least 15 medical names. He named and was the first to describe multiple sclerosis.

Charcot has been referred to as "the father of French neurology and one of the world's pioneers of neurology". His work greatly influenced the developing fields of neurology and psychology; modern psychiatry owes much to the work of Charcot and his direct followers. He was the "foremost neurologist of late nineteenth-century France" and has been called "the Napoleon of the neuroses".

Personal life

Jean Martin Charcot. Photograph by L. Laniepce. Wellcome V0026143
Jean Martin Charcot

Born in Paris, Charcot worked and taught at the famous Salpêtrière Hospital for 33 years. His reputation as an instructor drew students from all over Europe. In 1882, he established a neurology clinic at Salpêtrière, which was the first of its kind in Europe. Charcot was a part of the French neurological tradition and studied under, and greatly revered, Duchenne de Boulogne.

Charcot thought of art as a crucial tool of the clinicoanatomic method. He used photos and drawings, many made by himself or his students, in his classes and conferences. He also drew outside the neurology domain, as a personal hobby. He is considered a key figure in the incorporation of photography to the study of neurological cases.

He married in 1862 and had two children, Jeanne and Jean-Baptiste, who later became a doctor and a famous polar explorer".

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