Vol. 13 nº 3 - Jul/Aug/Set de 2019
History Note Páginas: 352 a 355

Franz Nissl (1860-1919), noted neuropsychiatrist and neuropathologist, staining the neuron, but not limiting it

Authors Marleide da Mota Gomes


keywords: Franz Nissl, neuropathology, staining method, neuron theory.

Franz Alexander Nissl carried out studies on mental and nervous disorders, as a clinician, but mainly as a pathologist, probably the most important of his time. He recognized changes in glial cells, blood elements, blood vessels and brain tissue in general, achieving this by using a special blue stain he himself developed - Nissl staining, while still a medical student. However, he did not accept the neuron theory supported by the new staining methods developed by Camillo Golgi and Santiago Ramón y Cajal. Nissl had worked with the crème de la crème of German neuropsychiatry, including Alois Alzheimer, besides Emil Kraepelin, Korbinian Brodmann and Walther Spielmeyer. He became (1904), Kraepelin's successor as Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Psychiatric Clinic, in Heidelberg. Moreover, in 1918, the year before Nissl´s death, Kraepelin offered him a research position as head of the Histopathology Department of the newly founded "Deutsche Forschungsanstalt fur Psychiatrie" of the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry, in Munich.


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