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Penfield's ceiling: Seeing brain injury through Galen's eyes.

Abstract The cathedral ceiling located in the entrance hall of the Montreal Neurological Institute, planned by its founder Wilder Penfield, has intrigued visitors since it was erected in 1934. Central to its charm is a cryptic comment by the ancient physician Galen of Pergamum, which refutes a dire Hippocratic aphorism about prognosis in brain injury. Galen's optimism, shared by Penfield, is curious from a fellow ancient. In this article, we use primary sources in Ancient Greek as well as secondary sources to not only examine the origins of Galen's epistemology but also, using a methodology in classics scholarship known as reception studies, illustrate how an awareness of this ancient debate can illuminate contemporary clinical contexts. While Galen based his prognostications on direct clinical observations like the Hippocratics, he also engaged in experimental and anatomic work in both animals and humans, which informed his views on neurologic states and outcomes. Penfield's memorialization of Galen is representative of the evolution of the neurosciences and the ongoing importance of evidence-based prognostication in severe brain injury.
PMID
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Authors

Mayor MeshTerms
Keywords
Journal Title neurology
Publication Year Start




PMID- 28827458
OWN - NLM
STAT- MEDLINE
DA  - 20170822
DCOM- 20170825
LR  - 20170825
IS  - 1526-632X (Electronic)
IS  - 0028-3878 (Linking)
VI  - 89
IP  - 8
DP  - 2017 Aug 22
TI  - Penfield's ceiling: Seeing brain injury through Galen's eyes.
PG  - 854-858
LID - 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004267 [doi]
AB  - The cathedral ceiling located in the entrance hall of the Montreal Neurological
      Institute, planned by its founder Wilder Penfield, has intrigued visitors since
      it was erected in 1934. Central to its charm is a cryptic comment by the ancient 
      physician Galen of Pergamum, which refutes a dire Hippocratic aphorism about
      prognosis in brain injury. Galen's optimism, shared by Penfield, is curious from 
      a fellow ancient. In this article, we use primary sources in Ancient Greek as
      well as secondary sources to not only examine the origins of Galen's epistemology
      but also, using a methodology in classics scholarship known as reception studies,
      illustrate how an awareness of this ancient debate can illuminate contemporary
      clinical contexts. While Galen based his prognostications on direct clinical
      observations like the Hippocratics, he also engaged in experimental and anatomic 
      work in both animals and humans, which informed his views on neurologic states
      and outcomes. Penfield's memorialization of Galen is representative of the
      evolution of the neurosciences and the ongoing importance of evidence-based
      prognostication in severe brain injury.
CI  - (c) 2017 American Academy of Neurology.
FAU - Adams, Zoe M
AU  - Adams ZM
AD  - From the Consortium for the Advanced Study of Brain Injury (CASBI) (Z.M.A.,
      J.J.F.), Department of Neurology and Brain and Mind Research Institute (Z.M.A.), 
      and Division of Medical Ethics (J.J.F.), Weill Cornell Medical College; and The
      Rockefeller University (J.J.F.), New York, NY. [email protected]
FAU - Fins, Joseph J
AU  - Fins JJ
AD  - From the Consortium for the Advanced Study of Brain Injury (CASBI) (Z.M.A.,
      J.J.F.), Department of Neurology and Brain and Mind Research Institute (Z.M.A.), 
      and Division of Medical Ethics (J.J.F.), Weill Cornell Medical College; and The
      Rockefeller University (J.J.F.), New York, NY.
LA  - eng
PT  - Historical Article
PT  - Journal Article
PL  - United States
TA  - Neurology
JT  - Neurology
JID - 0401060
SB  - AIM
SB  - IM
MH  - Architecture as Topic
MH  - Brain Injuries/diagnosis/*history
MH  - Greece
MH  - History, 19th Century
MH  - History, 20th Century
MH  - History, Ancient
MH  - Humans
MH  - Neurology/*history
MH  - Prognosis
MH  - Quebec
PS  - Penfield W
FPS - Penfield, Wilder
PS  - Galen
FPS - Galen
EDAT- 2017/08/23 06:00
MHDA- 2017/08/26 06:00
CRDT- 2017/08/23 06:00
PHST- 2016/12/09 [received]
PHST- 2017/05/18 [accepted]
AID - WNL.0000000000004267 [pii]
AID - 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004267 [doi]
PST - ppublish
SO  - Neurology. 2017 Aug 22;89(8):854-858. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004267.