Thursday, 23 June 2011

History of MS (1): Russell Brains Monologue

Murray T. Russell Brains Review of MS. Int MS J. 2011 May;17(2):50-3.

In 1930 there were many conflicting views on the cause, incidence, precipitating factors, inheritance and treatment of MS. A young, London neurologist summarized the state of understanding of the disease with his personal view of many of the uncertain areas, and clarified the thinking for the neurological community at that time. Although his later career was influential in many fields of medicine, and his personal influence was extraordinary in many areas as an author, educator, administrator, opinion leader and historian, his review was an important milestone in the history of MS.

"Lord Brain was one of predecessors at The Royal London Hospital. His monograph on MS is remarkable considering when it was written. I would recommend it if you are interested in the history of MS."

Brain, W.R. Critical review: disseminated sclerosis. Q J Med 1930, 23: 343-391.


6 comments:

  1. Not only did Lord Brain have the most apt name for a neurologist, he seems way ahead of his time. Much like you Prof G, Lord Brain believed MS was caused by an “infective agent”, which means it was always a virus, not primarily autoimmune. He also linked MS to environmental factors such as weather. It’s a shame he didn’t carry on researching MS because he seems like the kind of guy that would’ve cracked it.

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  2. Im going to give it a check. If it isn't too long.
    Btw, nice blog :)
    Reading your other entrys.

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  3. Could we have a link to the monograph? I couldn't find one.

    I found the full T Murray article-
    http://www.msforum.net/Site/ViewPDF/ViewPDF.aspx?ArticleID=B39A9F2A-E64C-46D1-AF34-D8B1E9507C20&doctype=Article

    And more on Dr Brain the Neurologist :-) http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/jan/24/improbable-research-brain-journal

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  4. The link above is an abstract. The full text is at http://www.msforum.net/Site/ViewPDF/ViewPDF.aspx?ArticleID=B39A9F2A-E64C-46D1-AF34-D8B1E9507C20&doctype=Article

    Is the original monograph available online?

    More on the neurologist Dr Brain and his senior Dr Head :-) http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/jan/24/improbable-research-brain-journal

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  5. I don't know much about Dr Brains, but I do know that 80 years on from the 1930s when he produced research about MS we do not know the cause and have no cure (and no treatments for progressive MS).

    I've no doubt that academics can make an informed assessment of another academic's contribution. However, patients are really only interested in re-gaining health. I will take my hat off to the doctor / neuro who really changes the future for MS patients i.e. develops really effective treatments. I can't share your admiration for those that don't achieve this. 200 research papers are an academic achievement, but patients are after more than paper.

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  6. RE: Anonymous said...
    I don't know much about Dr Brains, but I do know that 80 years on from the 1930s when he produced research about MS we do not know the cause and have no cure (and no treatments for progressive MS).


    HEAR, HEAR! Lip service and lots of publications does not a cure make! Makes you kind of wonder if maybe they like the cash cows they have and are not willing to rock the boat and loose their livelihood! Seems pretty probable to me. Nothing else that has been said, done or published convince me otherwise.

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