|Fig. 1: Guilluame Benjamin Amand Duchenne |
(1806-1875) was the first physician to treat
nervous and muscular diseases with electric shock
therapy. He was, therefore, the founder of
electrotherapy. (1, page 690)
Amand was born on September 17, 1806, to a family of seafarers at Boulogne, so it only mades sense his father wanted him to become a sailor Amand, on the other hand, had a passion for science that he believed sailing would not satiate. (1, page 690)(2)
So instead of sailing, he attended school at Paris, and among the physicians he trained under was Rene Laennec, the man who invented the stethoscope. Armand graduated in 1831 with a medical degree, practiced in Boulogne for a few years, and then in 1842 he moved to Paris where he dedicated his life to neurology (the study of nerves) and electrophysiology (the study of electrical properties of cells and tissues). (1, page 690)(2)
Medical historian Fielding Hudson Garrison described Duchenne as follows:
Trousseau, who, out of fondness for Duchenne, often voiced his ideas with effect in medical societies. (1, pages 690-691)Through his intricate study of the nervous and muscular systems of the body, he became the first to describe many nervous and muscular diseases that plagued mankind (such as a disease that later became known as Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy), and he became the first to use electric shocks as a treatment of these diseases. (1, pages 691-692)(2)
As an expert on nerves and muscles it only made sense that he would study asthma, which, at that time, was considered a nervous disorder. J.B. Berkard, in his 1878 book, "Asthma: It's Pathology and Treatment," said:
By these experiments, he therefore unknowingly verified the evidence of Budd and Wintrich in disproving the nervous and convulsive theories of asthma, and proving the diaphragmatic theory of asthma.
Near the end of his life he developed arteriosclerosis of the brain, and he passed away on September 15, 1875. He was 69 years old. (1, page 669)(6)
Note: So the diaphragmatic theory of asthma has been supported by Budd, Wintrich, and Duchenne. The next, and final, supporter will be Bamberger.
Note: You can view Duchen's book here.
- Garrison, Fielding Hudson, "An introduction to the history of medicine," 3rd edition, 1821, Philadelphia and London, W.B. Saunders Company
- Berkart, J.B., "On Asthma: It's pathology and treatment," 1878, London, J. & A. Churchill
- Brown, Orville Harry, "Asthma, presenting an exposition of nonpassive expiration theory," 1917, St. Louis, C.V. Mosby Company, page 34
- "Michael Faraday," http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/faraday_michael.shtml, accessed 3/5/14
- "1830s Electromagnetism and Faradisation," http://www.theiet.org/resources/library/archives/exhibition/medical/electromagnetism%20.cfm, accessed 3/5/14
- "Guillaume Benjamin Amand Duchenne," britannica.com, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/172882/Guillaume-Benjamin-Amand-Duchenne, accessed 3/5/14
- Duchenne, Guillaume Benjamin Amand Duchenne, "Selections from the clinical works of Dr. Duchenne," translated, edited, and condensed by G.V. Poore, 1883, London, New Sydenham Society
- Poore, G.V., "A short sketch of the life and work of Duchenne," in the book "Selections from te clinical works of Dr. Cuchenne," edited by G.V. Poore, 1883, London, New Sydenham Society, pages IX-XX
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