Clinical Neuroscience

[The history of Hungarian neurology (Part I)]

BEKÉNY György1

MARCH 20, 1994

Clinical Neuroscience - 1994;47(03-04)

[Every nation has its great people of whom it is proud. In our country, intellectuals think that Hungarians are particularly talented in music and mathematics. However, our outstanding geneticist believes that the genetic background of different abilities is equal between nations and that the different results are caused by external circumstances. Indeed, the "accumulation" of great Hungarian conductors and musicians in the United States, and the careers of many Nobel Prize-winning mathematicians and physicists in the United States, were made possible by the fact that they had to leave their homeland for political reasons. Contrary to what is suggested above, the first 50 years of a very successful and internationally respected period of Hungarian neuroscience were hampered by these circumstances. All the more reason to appreciate the neurological output of this period. I would be glad if the readers of this work would share this opinion. I have selected those publications for illustration which appeared in the so-called 'world languages'. The only exceptions are monographs, theses and one or two major works, some of which have already been published in a foreign language. Due to the limitations of space, many areas of neuroscience could not be discussed. Thus, I have not been able to write about international greats in neuroanatomy such as Mihály Lenhossék, Apáthy, Szentágothai; about neurophysiologists, especially those working on the cochleovestibular system such as Hőgyes, Bárány, Békésy; about neuroendocrinology or about many details of neurochemistry. The importance of neurosurgery, which is closely related to our subject, calls for a separate presentation. A small monograph on the history of Hungarian neuroscience was published in 1976 by István Környey, a great teacher and scholar of Hungarian neurology. In 1992, Zoltán Nagy published a history of Hungarian neurology in the last century under the title Hungarian Neurology in The Last Century. These historical summaries were important precursors to my present work. ]

AFFILIATIONS

  1. Semmelweis Orvostudományi Egyetem, Neurológiai Klinika

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