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Constantin von Monakow (November 4, 1853 - October 19, 1930} was a Russian-Swiss neuropathologist who was a native of Bobretsovo in the Vologda Oblast. He studied at the University of Zurich while working as an assistant at the Burghölzli Institute under the directorship of Eduard Hitzig (1839-1907). After graduation, he was an assistant at St. Pirminsberg, where he performed scientific investigations of cerebral anatomy. In 1885 he returned to Zurich, where he later became director of the Brain Anatomy Institute.
Monakow is remembered for his descriptions concerning connectivity of the sensory and motor pathways of the brain. He is credited for discovery of a "relay station" in the midbrain involving the nerve pathway between the retina and the visual cortex. The lateral cuneate nucleus is sometimes called Monakow's nucleus because he was able to establish its fibrous connectivity to the cerebellum. Also, the rubrospinal fasciculus is sometimes referred to as the Bundle of Monakow.
In 1917 he founded the Swiss Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry, and was its editor-in-chief until his death in 1930.
In 1914 Monakow coined the term "diaschisis" to describe how an injury to the brain can create behavioral deficiencies which may be followed by eventual recovery. The word is derived from Greek, meaning "shocked throughout". He believed the brain to exist as a delicate balance between its different components, and if a component became disturbed through injury it could affect other parts of the brain not seemingly associated with the site of injury. Therefore, if the damage wasn't too severe, functional behaviour would recover once the period of diaschisis wore off.
Selected writings Edit
- Pathologie du cerveau (1897)
- La localisation de l'encephale et la dégradation fonctionelle par des lésions circonscrites du cortex cérébral (1914)
- Die Lokalisation im Grosshirn und der Abbau der Funktionen durch corticale Herde, Wiesbaden, (1914)
- Gefuhl, Gesittung und Gehirn, (1916)
- Psychiatrie und Biologie, (1919)
- History of the Psychiatry Section of the Swiss Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry
- Monakow and Diaschisis
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