Théodore Herpin

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Théodore-Joseph-Dieudonné Herpin (27 August 1799 17 July 1865) was a French and Swiss neurologist who was a native of Lyon. He studied medicine at the Universities of Paris and Geneva, and spent most of his medical career at Geneva. [1]

Lyon Prefecture and commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Lyon is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located in the country's east-central part at the confluence of the rivers Rhône and Saône, about 470 km (292 mi) south from Paris, 320 km (199 mi) north from Marseille and 56 km (35 mi) northeast from Saint-Étienne. Inhabitants of the city are called Lyonnais.

University of Paris former university in Paris, France

The University of Paris, metonymically known as the Sorbonne, was a university in Paris, France, active 1150–1793, and 1806–1970.

University of Geneva Public university in Geneva, Switzerland

The University of Geneva is a public research university located in Geneva, Switzerland.

Herpin is remembered for his extensive contributions made in the study of epilepsy. He examined hundreds of epileptic patients, and noticed that all epileptic episodes, whether they be complete or incomplete, started the same way, and surmised that they originated in the same location in the brain. Herpin's primary focus of epileptic research was to instruct other physicians to be able to recognize and treat the condition in its early stages. His pioneer research predated John Hughlings Jackson's (1835-1911) similar findings of the disorder.

Epilepsy human neurological disease causing seizures

Epilepsy is a group of neurological disorders characterized by epileptic seizures. Epileptic seizures are episodes that can vary from brief and nearly undetectable periods to long periods of vigorous shaking. These episodes can result in physical injuries, including occasionally broken bones. In epilepsy, seizures tend to recur and, as a rule, have no immediate underlying cause. Isolated seizures that are provoked by a specific cause such as poisoning are not deemed to represent epilepsy. People with epilepsy may be treated differently in various areas of the world and experience varying degrees of social stigma due to their condition.

Brain organ that serves as the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate and most invertebrate animals

The brain is an organ that serves as the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate and most invertebrate animals. The brain is located in the head, usually close to the sensory organs for senses such as vision. The brain is the most complex organ in a vertebrate's body. In a human, the cerebral cortex contains approximately 14–16 billion neurons, and the estimated number of neurons in the cerebellum is 55–70 billion. Each neuron is connected by synapses to several thousand other neurons. These neurons communicate with one another by means of long protoplasmic fibers called axons, which carry trains of signal pulses called action potentials to distant parts of the brain or body targeting specific recipient cells.

John Hughlings Jackson British neurologist

John Hughlings Jackson, FRS was an English neurologist. He is best known for his research on epilepsy.

Herpin is also credited for his comprehensive description of juvenile myoclonic epilepsy.

Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), also known as Janz syndrome, is a fairly common form of generalized epilepsy of presumed genetic origin, representing 5-10% of all epilepsy cases. This disorder typically first manifests itself between the ages of 12 and 18 with sudden brief involuntary single or multiple episodes of muscle(s) contractions caused by an abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain. These events typically occur either early in the morning or upon sleep deprivation. Additional clinical presentations include seizures with either a motor or nonmotor generalized onset. Genetic studies have demonstrated several loci for JME and identified mutations in 4 genes.

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  1. Herpin, Théodore-Joseph-Dieudonné, in the Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.