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FRIEDREICH, Nikolaus (1825–1882)

Über progressive Muskelatrophie, über wahre und falsche Muskelhypertrophie.
Berlin, August Hirschwald, 1873.

First edition – Friedreich, a pupil of Albrecht von Kölliker, had most of his undergraduate and medical training in Würzburg. His major mentor, however, was Rudolph Virchow. At the age of 31 he succeeded Virchow in the chair of pathological anatomy at Würzburg, where his father and grandfather had been at the medical faculty before him. The following year he accepted a call to Heidelberg where he became chief of the medical clinic. Friedreich’s foremost talent lay in clinical medicine, with an especial flair for the techniques of physical diagnosis. All his work was remarkable for its volume, excellence and versatility. He was an authority in almost all branches of internal medicine, but his main interest was in neurology. The most elaborate of his writings was his monograph on progressive muscular atrophy. This publication, dedicated to Virchow, contributed much to the early understanding of muscular dystrophy; but Friedreich fell into the error of regarding all muscular atrophy as myopathic, and this marred the value of the work. Many of his important contributions involved pediatric patients, most notably those with muscle disease and ataxia. His studies of heredity spinal ataxia, however, are justly regarded as classics. They were pioneer achievements which laid the groundwork for all subsequent knowledge of hereditary degenerations of the spinal cord, brain stem, and cerebellum. Friedreich is represented with five entries in Garrison-Morton. ”Alle seine Publikationen sind mit minuziöser Sorgfalt gearbeitet.” (Herrlinger in NDB). Seven of the plates (V-XI) are depicting patients and these are lithographed after photographies.

Collation: Pp x, 358. With 11 lithographed plates of which 7 are depicting patients from photographs.

Binding: Original black boards with red spine label.

References: Haymaker, The Founders of Neurology, pp 289-291; Ashwal, The Founders of Child Neurology, pp 253-257; Garrison/McHenry, History of Neurology, pp 298-299; Courville 778. Waller 3258.

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