Dental horrors abound in literature, artwork, and dental museum exhibits. Throughout most of the world’s history, dentistry, like childbirth, has been associated with intense pain. Yet in our modern era of preventive maintenance, restoration, and local anesthesia, the prevalence of dental anxiety remains persistently high. This widespread dental angst has created a ripe market for profitable sedation dentistry.
Henry Gustav Molaison (1926-2008) was perhaps the best-known and most studied patient in the history of neuroscience. Henry became the subject of a scientific article which would become one of the most cited articles in the history of medical literature.
Six years ago, while researching the life of an American psychiatrist who studied the top Nazi leaders during their imprisonment and trial in Nuremberg, I came across a small box among the physician’s possessions. The box held a set of glass photographic transparencies, with each slide showing a cross-section of a brain. Labels on the slides identified the brain’s former owner as Robert Ley.
The history of medical students using human cadavers for dissection is a long and choppy one (no pun intended). Before Christianity, mutilation and use of human corpses was widespread. It is common knowledge that ancient Egyptians mummified their dead, dissecting and preserving specific organs. After Christianity became a widespread influence, however, the practice of dissecting human cadavers to study was considered taboo.
- The Broken Mirror
- Surprising Role of Prions in Neurodegenerative Diseases