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Jackson - 1889 - On the comparative study of diseases of the nervous system


Jackson JH. Address in medicine: On the comparative study of diseases of the nervous system. British Medical Journal. 1889 Aug;2(1494):355-362. DOI

10 Word Summary

Nervous hierarchy suggests symptoms are equal parts compensation and loss.


  • Injury to CNS suggests that there is a large importance on state of action
    • One guy even thought he was a pickle!
  • His belief is that lower-level nervous system is more organized and less complex than higher levels such as the cerebrum.
  • Looking at the ongoing evolution of the nervous system even after a lesion.
  • Dissolution (to dissolve) of the higher nervous systems appears to reduce it to an "automatic" state.
  • Theory of dissolution is an ordering or hierarchy of neural control from automatic to specialized.  Where specialized is most often related with voluntary functions and fine-grained motor control.
  • The Rolandic Region is the are around the central sulcus.
  • He argues that evolution is the result of evolving physical structure not the mind itself.
  • The entire body is represented in the higher centers, viscera, muscles, skin, etc.
  • The corresponding structures that hold will, memory, reason and emotion represent all parts of the body, sensory and motor.
  • The outward signs of mental illness is the action of what is left of the CNS trying to compensate for what is missing.
  • Paralysis being the loss of nervous action.