Brain chemistry and the French connection, 1791-1841: an account of the chemical analyses of the human brain by Thouret (1791), Fourcroy (1793), Vauquelin (1811), Couerbe (1834), and Frémy (1841) : a second sourcebook in the history of neurochemistry

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Raven Press, 1994 - Medical - 306 pages
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In this volume, Dr. Tower, an eminent neurochemist and historian of neurochemistry, provides a unique account of the first chemical analyses of the human brain. These studies were conducted by five French chemists - Thouret, Fourcroy, Vauquelin, Gouerbe, and Fremy - between 1791 and 1841, and represent a crucial transition from the end of alchemy to the beginnings of modern neurochemistry. Dr. Tower chronicles these five chemists' lives and scientific activities and presents the original French texts of their published papers, with annotated English translations alongside the original text. These seminal papers, collected in one volume and translated, comprise a source book that has never before been available to non-French-speaking readers. The papers demonstrate the emergence of some of the most important modern concepts about the composition of the human brain. Most significantly, they document the French chemists' pioneering work in identifying cerebral lipids and recognizing the complexities of cerebral lipid structure. Dr. Tower's biographical sketches portray the French chemists' involvement in the intellectual and scientific revolution of their era. A prologue and an epilogue highlight these scientists' role in the evolution of neurochemistry. Illustrations and extensive bibliographies are also included. This book presents an illuminating account of a group of scientists who laid many of the foundations for modern neurochemistry. All neuroscientists, neurologists, and students of the history of medicine and science will find this volume fascinating reading.

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