Gheoghe Marinescu


Gheorghe Marinescu (1863-1938) neurologist; founder of the Romanian School of Neurology; among the first in the world to apply methods from histology in neurology.


Although attracted by technical matters, mathematics and engineering, he studied at the Faculty of Medicine from Bucharest. During his studies in Paris (1889) he made the first X-rays photos in acromegalia.

In 1898 he used the cinematographic camera to study walking difficulties. He was the professor of Neurology at the Faculty of medicine from Bucharest since 1897.

Founder of the Romanian School of Neurology, member of the Romanian Academy and of many other foreign academies and societies, Gh. Marinescu, a student of Victor Babes, was among the first in the world to apply methods from histology and histopathology to neurology, and to apply the anatomo-clinical method to scientific research.

He made original contributions to physiology, histology and the nervous system practical learning (the theory of reflex trophicity, the palmomentony reflex, kinetoplasma, chromatolysis, neuronophagy). To investigate the nerve cell, Marinescu's methods considered the latest findings in physics and chemistry of his time. Ultramicroscopic researches allowed him to transpose analysis data from the colloidal theory to the neuron structure. He dared make experiments such as transplants and cultures of nervous tissue.

He was also preoccupied to localize oxidative ferments in the cell corpus, in dendrites; one of his major concerns was the theory of reflexive trophicity, which was of large reputation. The last ten years of his life were dedicated to studying the physiology and physiopathology of the nervous system. For this he made use, among the first, of the encephalographic method and the conditioned reflexes method in diagnosing hysteria, epilepsy, aphasia and neurosis. During the last years of his life he started write a monograph on the biology of the nerve cell, never to be finished.

Gheorghe Marinescu is also the author of the first scientific documentary in the world, relized in 1898, with the help of Lumiere brothers. The documentary studied the walking difficulties.

World medicine owes him to a great extent the advances made in the field of modern neurology. His main works include: "Studies on the Evolution and Involution of the Nerve Cell" (1900), "The Nerve Cell" (1909), "The Lethargyc Encephalitis" (1909), "Conditioned Reflexes" co-authored with A. Kreindler (1936).