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Discovering the Identity of a 150-Year-Old Patient
In 1861, the French physician Pierre Broca wanted to solve an unusual case about human brain. He studied the body of “Monseiur Leborgne”, a man who lost the ability to communicate with others at age 30. Broca noted that Leborgne’s brain had the left frontal lobe in poor condition. This helped him to prove his hypothesis about brain, which was organized into distinct areas and his discovery had an impact in the history of brain science.Leborgne became “one of the profession’s most famous patients” because medical books had nothing to say about his problem. In the psychiatric hospital where Leborgne spent 21 years until his death, was thought that he was illiterate and had suffered from syphilis.However, Cezary Domanski, a psychologist and science historian, had an impression in Leborgne’s case so he made a research about the real story behind and found the complete name – Louis Victor Leborgne and place of birth, Moret. Due to this, Domanski deduced something about Leborgne’s repetitive word in the medical center, “Tan”. Many tanneries operated in Moret, so it could have been a “flashback” of his memory.Furthermore, Domanski found that Leborgne was partially educated after knowing about his father, who has been a teacher, and his nephew, who signed his name on marriage certificate. These actions indicated that Leborgne’s family was literate. Domanski stated that "a patient is not an object", even if the case is over 150 years old, it should be treated with humanity. And that is one of the reasons why his discovery about Leborgne was published earlier this year in the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences.
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