Promoting Education and Attainment of the Highest Level of Knowledge and Understanding of Clinical Neurophysiology
The International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology (IFCN) has member societies in 62 countries. The IFCN mission is to promote best practice in clinical neurophysiology through education and research throughout the world. And our vision is to improve healthcare worldwide by understanding the nervous system and optimizing the diagnosis and treatment of its disorders through clinical neurophysiology.
Fernando Henrique Lopes da Silva, 1935–2019
Fernando Henrique Lopes da Silva (Lisbon, January 24, 1935) has passed away on May 7, 2019.
He received his Medical Degree from the University of Lisbon in 1959 and the PhD in Physiology from the University of Utrecht in 1970. He was appointed full professor of Physiology at Amsterdam University and scientific director of the Dutch Institute of Epilepsy. After this academic service, he was appointed Emeritus Professor in Amsterdam and invited professor at Lisbon University.
He leaves to all of us an invaluable scientific legacy, hard to summarize in a few words. He published hundreds of scientific papers investigating the role of brain oscillatory mechanisms using advanced EEG and MEG techniques. These studies have unveiled biophysical and neurophysiological oscillatory models of the interactions between cerebral neural systems underpinning vigilance, sleep, and cognitive-motor functions in physiological and pathological conditions (with a focus on Epilepsy). One of his last major contributions was to play the role of Editor, together with Don Schomer, in the production of the seventh edition of the master EEG handbook entiled “Niedermeyer’s Electroencephalography: Basic Principles, Clinical Applications, and Related Fields (2018).”
His scientific work has tremendously contributed to the development of Neurophysiology, Clinical Neurophysiology, and EEG theory. For this work, he was awarded a distinguished member of Academy of Sciences of The Netherlands and received several honorary distinctions in the fields of Clinical Neurophysiology and Neurosciences.
He also leaves to all of us a permanent reminder of academic and social responsibility, declined in his professional acts with a unique gentleman style. He defeated the time and made our time better. In his mourning announcement card, one can read the Portuguese verse “as árvores morrem de pé!” (“trees die on their feet”). An evergreen tree will ever stand in front of us.
Craig Emery Tenke, 1950–2017
Craig Emery Tenke, born October 19, 1950, passed away unexpectedly on December 19, 2017, at the age of 67. Craig, having worked as a senior neuroscientist and dedicated electrophysiologist at New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) and Columbia University for many years, was at the prime of his career and in keen pursuit of new challenges. He served as an Associate Editor for Clinical Neurophysiology from 2008 to 2016, and as a member of the Editorial Board from 2003 to 2008.
Craig earned an A.S. degree in Science from the Suffolk County Community College at The State University of New York (S.U.N.Y.) in 1971, a B.A. summa cum laude in Psychology from Stony Brook University at S.U.N.Y. in 1972, an M.A. in Neuropsychology from Queen’s College at the City University of New York (C.U.N.Y.) in 1976, and a Ph.D. in Neuropsychology from C.U.N.Y. in 1983.
From 1983 to 1987, Craig completed his post-doctoral training in Neuroscience at Albert Einstein College of Medicine (“Einstein”), and he continued to work with Joseph C. Arezzo, Herbert G. Vaughan, Jr., and Charles E. Schroeder as a Research Associate until 1988.
Throughout these early years, Craig was the recipient of several community and intramural scholarships. He supported his training by working as a Laboratory Assistant (S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook, 1971-1972), Adjunct Lecturer and Grant Assistant (C.U.N.Y. Queen’s College, 1973-1981) and also as a Scientific Programmer (NYSPI, 1981-1984). By that time, he had developed significant hands-on experience with mainframes, emerging microprocessor systems, and relevant programming languages, such as assembler, FORTRAN, and BASIC.
Craig’s programming skills were supplemented by his first hand know-how in designing, building and repairing electronics. This blend established Craig’s roots in the Psychophysiology Laboratory within the Department of Biopsychology at NYSPI. The Psychophysiology Laboratory was founded and directed by the (late) Sam Sutton, who is recognized for the groundbreaking discovery of the P300 component (Sutton et al., 1965). Working with Sutton and Gerard E. Bruder developed Craig’s curiosity about both event-related brain potentials (ERPs) and applying EEG/ERP measures to clinical research in psychopathology, particularly depression. Together, this combination became an integral part of his own research; wherefore, after Sutton’s death in 1986, Craig assumed the position of the principal electrophysiologist in the Psychophysiology Laboratory. In this role, he meticulously guided acquisition, analysis and interpretation of scalp-recorded human EEG and ERP throughout the remainder of his life.
Brain structures and functions always fascinated Craig. At one point, he found himself in charge of a lab section on the gross dissection of human brain specimens for a medical school class. His early intracranial work in electrophysiology at Queen’s College and Einstein – using both open and closed stereotactic techniques (Tenke, 1983) – involved a number of species, including rat, rabbit, cat and monkey (e.g., Schroeder et al., 1991). Out of respect for his animal research subjects, Craig chose to be a vegetarian, avoiding food from the same branch or higher on the evolutionary tree.
It did not take long for Craig to recognize that enduring scientific progress via empirical research can only be accomplished by strict adherence to the scientific method. Accordingly, Craig emphasized relying on verifiable quality criteria (objectivity, reliability, validity) throughout his academic career, long before scientific rigor became a popular phrase. For example, interpreting treatment-related changes in EEG power spectra requires knowledge about their conditiondependent internal consistency (Tenke, 1986), identifying artifactual electrode bridges in EEG recordings is mandatory for faithfully interpreting their topographies (Tenke and Kayser, 2001), and a multisite study needs to establish adequate test-retest reliability of electrophysiological measures before embarking on a randomized-clinical trial (Tenke et al., 2017a).
These experiences and insights afforded Craig a unique set of neuroanatomical, mathematical, and (bio-)engineering skills that motivated an informed evaluation and study of the underlying generators of the EEG and ERP signal. His methods included dipole models and simulations (Tenke and Kayser, 2015), current source density (CSD) analysis spanning microscopic (intracranial) and macroscopic (scalp-recorded) scales (Tenke et al., 1993; Tenke and Kayser, 2012), and component identification and simplification using principal components analysis (PCA) across spectral and temporal domains (Tenke and Kayser, 2005; Tenke et al., 2008, 2010). I had the good fortune to begin working with Craig in the mid-90’s. Our joint interest in systematically tackling common pitfalls of reference-dependent surface potentials that originate from principles of volume conduction and choice of EEG recording reference, combined with the need to define meaningful outcome measures (variance patterns), has produced a series of empirical, technical and theoretical papers on CSD and PCA (e.g., Kayser and Tenke, 2003, 2006a, 2006b), including a special issue on how reference-free surface Laplacian (CSD) methods render superior electrophysiological measures (Kayser and Tenke, 2015).
While applying these methods to human EEG research, Craig was simultaneously cognizant of their strengths, limitations and nuances, and although he operated almost entirely behind-the-scenes, he was truly restless in his efforts to raise the bar for the field and educate his peers if needed. These qualities were on display during his generous peer review efforts, not only for this journal but also as an ad-hoc reviewer for numerous scientific outlets and review committees. His guidance was sought after by scholars both locally and around the globe.
Throughout his life, Craig trained and mentored technicians, doctoral candidates, postdoctoral fellows and colleagues in the conduct of electrophysiological research, all the while being exceptionally unselfish with his time and often leaving a lasting impression on his peers with his unique sharp intellect and quirky personality. During his academic career, Craig served as a principal investigator or co-investigator on multiple grants awarded by the National Institute of Mental Health, philanthropic foundations and the pharmaceutical industry to study cognitive and neurophysiological functions in mood disorders and psychosis, often with the goal of evaluating the suitability of these measures for characterizing symptom features or diagnostic subtypes of major depressive disorder or for the prediction of antidepressant treatment response (e.g., Bruder et al., 1997, 2008). For many highly productive collaborations within NYSPI/Columbia as well as on a national and international level, Craig represented the electrophysiological component of the project and personified a cornerstone of methodological excellence.
Craig loved his home in Center Moriches, New York, on Long Island, where he lived with his family for his entire life. He served his community as both a spiritual leader and informal educator: he was a Ruling Elder at the Presbyterian Church of the Moriches (1998-2011) and a Sunday Jr.-Sr. High School teacher (2007-2011). Craig was a (proudly) outspoken voice in his congregation regarding controversial issues such as Intelligent Design and Sexual Minorities. Craig’s faith and science coexisted: he was ever conscientious about distinguishing between religious belief, moral values, ethical standards and scientific reasoning. He was also inquisitive about the interplay between these concepts and their possible relevance for mental health. As a result, Craig was instrumental in obtaining funding from the John F. Templeton foundation to help understand the role of religious or spiritual belief (R/S) in the resilience of families at risk for depression, given evidence suggesting a link between posterior EEG alpha at rest, a putative biomarker of antidepressant treatment response (Tenke et al., 2011), and the ontogenesis of R/S importance (Tenke et al., 2013, 2017b).
Craig’s legacy can be found in the continuation of the research he initiated with his scientific rigor, curiosity and generosity. Although we have lost a valued colleague who is sorely missed in this mission, Craig E. Tenke inspired electrophysiological research, cognitive neuroscience and clinical neurophysiology for years to come.
Divisions of Cognitive Neuroscience and Translational Epidemiology, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA
Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, NY, USA
Erol Basar, 1938 - 2017
It is our deep regret to announce Erol Başar’s passing on the 28th of October 2017 in Istanbul. Professor Başar was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1938. He had his high school education at Galatasaray gymnasium, a French speaking high school in Istanbul, a place where he had been attracted to the French philosophy and to the natural sciences. Later in university years, he studied particle physics in Munich, where he had the chance to attend those lectures offered by Werner Heisenberg and Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker. After completing his master degree in Hamburg, with a strong influence of “cybernetics” by Norbert Wiener, in his early years he decided to take on a career on systems analysis of the brain. Following the suggestions of Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, he completed his PhD degree at the Institute of Physiology of the University Hannover on the systems analysis of vasculature and circulation, an experience which he later extended to the brain and the central nervous system during his post-doc studies in USA.
In 1970, Erol Başar founded the Department of Biophysics at Hacettepe University, one of the first of its kind in Turkey. Surrounded by enthusiastic young students, he conducted there, a wide range of studies on the electrical dynamics of the brain on various species. These studies brought him to the concept of “Brain Dynamics” at a period when the spontaneous EEG signals and the relatively novel event-related potentials were conventionally thought to be as two distinct types of electrical phenomena. In his monograph “EEG-Brain Dynamics”(1980), a magnum opus in the research area of event related oscillations, he hypothesized that the two electrical phenomena, the ongoing and event-related, were in fact, closely related to each other. He suggested that event-related potentials could be modelled as a superimposition of linear and/or non-linear changes in the various ongoing electrical oscillationsof the brain activity as in the form of phase-resetting and/or amplitude enhancement just like as the weak or strong “resonance” phenomena observed in quantum physics.
This hypothesis brought, not only a new perspective to the brain electrophysiology, but also introduced the possibility of investigating the inter-relations between the ongoing and event-related activities of the brain within a systematic framework. From early seventies on, Erol Başar’s research group also studied the coherence among pairs of different brain structures as a measure of dynamic interaction during various sensory inputs, perhaps as one of the earliest examples of functional brain connectivity. All of these pioneering works paved the way to the concept of evoked or event-related oscillations, which has built up the mainstream brain electrophysiology studies in later decades. In his book, he also introduced the idea that the EEG signal might reflect a switching between states of order and disorder in the brain as a form of strange attractor in dynamical systems, which was also widely explored in later years yielding important neuroscientific results.
In 1980 Erol Başar moved to Germany and worked at the Medical University Lübeck until 2000, where he extended his range of studies from cognitive processes, to the evolution of species, and to the more general strategies of brain dynamics approach. These efforts led him to organize two conferences after which he edited two new volumes, “Brain Oscillations I (Başar) and II (Başar& Bullock)”, published in 1988 and 1989, respectively. A small volume titled “Chaos in Brain Function” also appeared in 1990.
In 2000, Erol Başar returned his home country and established the brain research laboratories at Dokuz Eylül University in Izmir, where he studied between 2000 and 2006. Later he joined Istanbul Kültür University where he stayed until 2016.
His last monograph appeared in 2011: “Brain Body Mind in the Nebulous Cartesian System, A Holistic Approach by Oscillations”, as a multidisciplinary work amalgamating results from basic neuroscience, philosophy, clinical applications and physics. In this work he proposed a theory on the connectedness of the brain and body through oscillatory dynamics and stated that the relation of brain-body mind cannot be understood with classical Cartesian systems, but required a different framework. On the basis of the empirical data on circulatory dynamics and brain research he attempted to define the basic descriptors of such “Nebulous Cartesian System”.
“Application of Brain Oscillations in Neuropsychiatric Diseases, Supplements to Clinical Neurophysiology (2013)” was another volume he edited for Clinical Neurophysiology, in which the initial works on joint analysis of EEG and event related oscillations in Alzheimer’s Disease, mild cognitive impairment, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were presented.
Prof. Erol Başar chaired nine international workshops/conferences and two world congresses in his whole career. Those organized in 1983 (Sensory and Cognitive Processing of the Brain), in 1985 (Sensory and Cognitive Processing of the Brain II), in 1987 (Brain Dynamics: Progress and Perspectives), and in 1990 (Induced Rhythms in the Brain) were among the first meetings, in which scientists gathered for a deep discussion on EEG-event related oscillations. As one of the champions of event related alpha response, he also organized one of the earliest meetings on the functional role of alpha oscillations, in Lübeck, Germany in 1994 by the name “Functional Correlates of Alpha Activity of the Brain”.
For his entire career, Erol Başar published 7 monographs and edited 12 books with the collaboration of distinguished scientists from all around the world, published more than 250 journal papers and carried out 18 international research projects. His impact on EEG research on the other hand, is immeasurably beyond these figures.
In Brian O’Donnell’s words, “Erol Başar was a very creative and influential scientist, but he was also someone even rarer, a leader who brought scientists together in a fragmented world. For Erol Başar, the borders didn’t count, only the science that was done.”
It was a privilege to work with Erol Başar, as he gave us the comfort and dedication to test our limits of thinking. He not only provided us with confidence for working on cutting-edge scientific problems buthe also taught us the joy of writing, whether it be a joy of writing a proceedings paper for a conference he organized, or a detailed research protocol, or a simple draft on free thoughts. He took science and turned it into a fun activity for us, but he did it in a very systematic way. Working with Professor Başar was to encounter the ideas of Descartes, Locke or Hume, the music of Mahler or Wagner, the cinema of Bergman, the poetry of Baudelaire, the “elan vital” of Bergson, or the paintings of Balaban. He was a best example of why someone needed intellectual and philosophical profundity to perform good science.
We believe that Erol Başar’s inspiration will continue to influence brain research for long times ahead, and his unforgettable memory will stay with us all.
Prof.Dr. Ahmet Ademoglu
Prof.Dr. Tamer Demiralp
Prof.Dr. Canan Başar-Eroglu
Turkish Society of Clinical Neurophysiology EEG – EMG
Carl Hermann Lücking, 1938-2016
On the 29th of October 2016, Professor Carl Hermann Lücking passed away, aged 78, in his home at Stegen near Freiburg, Germany. He was a dedicated clinical neurophysiologist and neurologist through all his professional life and was President of the German EEG Society, the later German Society of Clinical Neurophysiology (DGKN), from 1982 – 1983 and from 2002 – 2003. For his extraordinary achievements in the field of Clinical Neurophysiology he was awarded the „Hans-Berger-Preis“ by the DGKN, its highest award, in 1997. He was President of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology (I.F.C.N.) from 1993 to 1997, and Honorary President of the 29th Intern. Congress of Clinical Neurophysiology, Kobe/Japan 2010 and the 30th Intern. Congress of Clinical Neurophysiology, Berlin/Germany 2014.
C.H. Lücking was born in Oelde, Westfalia, in 1938. He studied Medicine at the Universities of Göttingen, Munich, Vienna, Paris and Freiburg. After finishing his dissertation on eye movements at Freiburg University in 1964 he worked as a Max-Planck-Fellow in the Department of Functional Neurosurgery, Hôpital Foche, Paris with Profs. G. Guiot and D. Albe-Fessard and from 1966 – 1970 as research fellow and resident in the Department of Neurophysiology and Neurology and Psychiatry of the Max-Planck-Institute of Psychiatry, Munich with Profs. O. Creutzfeldt and D. Ploog. After a year as research fellow at the Department of Neurology, University of Vienna with Prof. F. Gerstenbrand he became senior resident at the Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology at the Technical University Munich headed by Prof. A. Struppler. Here he became a board certified neurologist and psychiatrist in 1971 and pursued his academic career advancing to the positions of Associate Professor and Vice-Chairman in 1978. In 1982 he was appointed Prof. of Neurology and Chair of the Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology at the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg following Prof. R. Jung from where he retired in 2003.
His research interests continuously centered around Clinical Neurophysiology. Starting with EEG techniques in the field of epileptology and disorders of consciousness he put his focus in his time in Munich and Freiburg increasingly to the Neurophysiology of the motor system, especially to functional neurosurgery and neuropharmacology of movement disorders and added modern brain imaging in his last years in Freiburg. He was first, senior and co-author of more than 150 articles in peer-review journals. He served on the editorial board of several scientific journals and became Honorary Consulting Editor of the IFCN journal “Clinical Neurophysiology”. He was regular reviewer for many leading journals in the field of neurology and clinical neurophysiology. Special mention deserves his editorship for the Volumes “Clinical Neurophysiology: From Receptors to Perception”, with G. Comi, J. Kimura and P.M. Rossini in 1999 and “Wave Length and Action Potentials: History of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology” with M. Nuwer in 2010, both Supplements to “Clinical Neurophysiology” published by Elsevier, Amsterdam.
He was awarded the Honorary Doctorate from the University Iasi, Romania and from the Semmelweis-University Budapest, Hungary. He became Honorary Member of the Hungarian Society of Neurology and Psychiatry, of the Société de la Neurophysiologie Clinique de la Langue Francaise, of the Société Francaise de Neurologie, of the Rumanian Society of Clinical Neurophysiology and of Hungarian Society of Movement Disorders and he was a Corresponding Member of the Swiss Society for Clinical Neurophysiology.
C.H. Lücking was a compassionate neurologist with great empathy for his patients and an excellent teacher for both students and young residents. The two authors of this obituary did their first steps in clinical neurology under his supervision and remember very well his legendary daily clinical conferences on the wards with intensive discussion of the newly admitted patients and his EEG seminars. Correspondingly, he was co-editor of one of the most frequently used German textbooks of Neurology (Neurologie compact, Thieme, Stuttgart). He was certainly one of the members of the dying out generation combining a profound knowledge in general neurology and clinical neurophysiology.
His family was his anchor and harbor and it was the support by his family, which gave him the energy to fulfill his duties in his academic institution as well as on the national and international stage. He is survived by his wife Irmgard Merula, his two sons Christoph and Thomas with spouses and three grandchildren. His death means a great loss for German, European and International Clinical Neurophysiology.
Reinhard Dengler M.D., Hannover
Günther Deuschl M.D., Kiel
Elio Lugaresi, MD (1926-2015)
Prof. Elio Lugaresi passed away on December 22, 2015 in his 89th year. His passing leaves many in the neurologic community reflecting on his enormous legacy to the discipline.
Elio Lugaresi’s career was devoted to the study of neurology, neurophysiology, epilepsy, and above all sleep in all its aspects, a passion he pursued well into retirement.
At the beginning of his career, Lugaresi spent a period of study in Marseille, in the laboratory of Prof. Gastaut, who was to become his mentor and friend. It was there that Lugaresi grasped the importance of clinical observation coupled with polygraphic recordings. Back in Bologna, he applied these innovative techniques to the study of epilepsy and sleep. Adopting a communication technique learnt from Gastaut, he organized the Epilepsy Colloquia, an annual meeting in Bologna gathering leading epilepsy experts from all over Europe to discuss new syndromes and new therapeutic strategies.
In 1967, when sleep medicine was still uncharted territory, he organized the first international congress on the topic, held in Bologna.
This congress, followed by other meetings, pushed the field of sleep medicine towards new frontiers and marked the beginnings of a new specialty, sleep medicine, to which Lugaresi made unparalleled contributions for more than 50 years. His scientific achievements in this field remain his best known legacy and serve as a benchmark for all those involved in sleep research. Prof. Lugaresi was full Professor of Neurology at the University of Bologna and Director of the Institute of Clinical Neurology from 1977 to 1998.
In 2001 he was made Professor Emeritus of Neurology at the University of Bologna.
He was a founding member and served as President of the Italian League against Epilepsy (1972–1976), the Italian EEG Society (1969–1972) and the Italian Society of Sleep Medicine (1990– 1994). He served as President of the Italian Society of Neurology (1984–1987), and the Italian College of Neurologists (1996–2000). Prof. Lugaresi was Ambassador for Epilepsy for the International League against Epilepsy from 1979, a corresponding member of the American Neurological Association and honorary Member of the Association for Sleep Disorders Centers, the German EEG Society, Société Française de Neurologie, Spanish League against Epilepsy, Italian Society of Sleep Medicine and the American Sleep Disorders Association.
Elio Lugaresi undertook the first, still unrivalled, polysomnographic studies on what was initially called ‘‘nocturnal myoclonus”, and he was the first to study the hemodynamic and ventilatory effects of obstructive sleep apneas, recognizing the close physiopathologic relationship between apparently trivial snoring and full-blown obstructive apnea syndrome. By flanking polysomnography with video recordings, Lugaresi gave important insights into generalized epilepsies and contributed to the former epilepsy classification. He was the first to describe a new variant of sleep-related epilepsy now known as nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy. However, Lugaresi’s foremost contribution to sleep medicine must be the thorough clinical, neurophysiological, pathological and genetic characterization of the prion disease he named Fatal Familial Insomnia. This discovery owed much to Lugaresi’s brilliant coworker Pasquale Montagna, who pioneered research into the new disease in conjunction with leading international research groups, thereby making a major contribution to the neurobiology of prion diseases in general. Lugaresi’s attendant innovative considerations on the role of the thalamus in sleep also had a major/an incisive impact on neurophysiology.
Subsequent observations led Lugaresi and his group to document that an autoimmune encephalopathy (Morvan’s Syndrome) and an acute psychotic state triggered by alcohol withdrawal syndrome (delirium tremens) shared the clinical and polysomnographic features of Fatal Familial Insomnia. This led to recognition of a syndrome he named agrypnia excitata, characterized by a loss of sleep associated with generalized motor and autonomic hyperactivation, probably due to an anatomic or function interruption of the thalamolimbic circuits regulating the sleep-wave cycle and body homeostasis.
Throughout his career, Elio Lugaresi showed a remarkable ability to recognize what was important in his data, make the discovery and then, instead of passing on to another topic, create a sustained research program. This is repeatedly exemplified in his series of papers on Nocturnal Frontal Lobe Epilepsy and Fatal Familial Insomnia. The scientific method he passed on to his neurology research group was based on the observation and consequent description and analysis of clinical phenomena. After that, he always developed a complex reasoning, accompanied by a cultured and creative explanation of the patients’ disease. Elio Lugaresi published more than 500 scientific papers in international journals and contributed many chapters to international textbooks on epilepsy and sleep medicine. His achievements were recognized by numerous awards during his remarkable career. These included the Ottorino Rossi award for neurology by the ‘‘C. Mondino” Foundation, University of Pavia (1995); the Pisa sleep award of the European Sleep Research Society (1996); the Potamkin Prize of the American Academy of Neurology (1997); the Giuseppe Moruzzi award of the World Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology (1998); the Founder of the field of modern sleep research award of the Sleep Research Society (2003); the William C. Dement Academic Achievement Award of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2003); the ‘‘Interbrew Baillet-Latour de la Santé” Foundation award for contributions to sleep medicine (2004); the ‘‘Giuseppe Caruso” award of the Italian Society of Clinical Neurophysiology (2008). In recognition of his leadership, the World Association of Sleep Medicine has set up the Elio Lugaresi Award for Sleep Medicine.
Prof. Lugaresi is greatly missed by his many trainees, colleagues and friends.
The Bologna Neurological School, Italy
Paolo Pinelli, MD (1921–2015)
The news of the death of Paolo Pinelli, on Christmas Eve 2015, prompted feelings of great sadness, not just in those who have accompanied him in the course of his long career, but in the entire Italian neurological community.
A wonderful man, neurologist and researcher: Paolo Pinelli was all these things and it is not easy to say which description fits him best, as he managed to combine all these attributes. But neurology was certainly not his only interest; indeed, it was always a delight to engage, with him, in discussions of music, art, literature and philosophy.
Born in Mantua in 1921, Pinelli joined the Medical Faculty of the University of Pavia as a student of the historic Collegio Ghislieri. These were years that left an indelible mark on the young Pinelli, as we learn from De Germanis. 1939–1945: libertà e ideali nel Collegio Ghislieri, one of the many books he wrote following his retirement. During the war he was sent as a medical sergeant to Croatia, where he earned a star (on his epaulette) for the work he did at field hospital n. 51.
He developed a passionate interest in neurology and psychiatry, which took him to the Pavia University Neurologic Clinic, then directed by Prof. Berlucchi. After gaining his specialisation, he left for Copenhagen to become a researcher in the Laboratory of Neurophysiology run by Prof. Buchthal. Thus began his collaboration with Buchthal which, during two periods spent in Copenhagen (1948–1949 and 1953–1957), allowed him to make fundamental scientific contributions to the study of neuromuscular diseases, and to contribute to the emergence of electromyography. This was also the period of his marriage to Marisa Lanzoni, who was to follow him and support him throughout his long career.
In 1950 he became Berlucchi’s assistant at the Institute of Neurology at the University of Pavia, where he was subsequently appointed lecturer until 1964. In 1961 he organised, in Pavia, the 1st International Congress of Electromyography, an event that saw the creation of the ‘‘Pavia Committee on EMG Apparatus” (Buchthal, Desmedt, Drechsler, Gilliatt, Hausmanova-Petrusewicz, Isch, Kugelberg, Lambert, Lefebvre, Liberson, Pinelli, Simpson, Struppler, Toshihiko Tokizane).
He spent the years from 1965 (he became a full professor in 1966) to 1972 in Rome, where he directed the Neuropsychiatry Clinic at the Catholic University. His studies on the effects of cortisone treatment in myasthenia gravis, conducted with his closest collaborators, date back to this period.
In 1972 he returned to Pavia as Director of the University’s Clinic of Neurology, and was instrumental in getting the C. Mondino Neurological Institute officially recognised as a Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalisation and Healthcare by the Italian Health Ministry (1973). He continued to study myasthenia gravis and the effects of thymectomy, but was already developing new interests, becoming particularly drawn to neurological rehabilitation. Indeed, he was a pioneer in this field, and Pavia, in 1976, provided the venue for the 3rd Congress of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology (ISEK). Pinelli always acted as a stimulus to his closest collaborators, encouraging them to work to raise the profile of the technical and medical roles related to clinical neurophysiology.
His appointment as Director of the 1st Neurological Clinic of the University of Milan in 1980 meant that he did not play a direct part, even if he strongly supported the project, in the creation, in Pavia, of the University School of Clinical Neurophysiology Technicians (in 1981) and the Postgraduate School of Clinical Neurophysiology (in 1982). In Milan his research in the field of neurological rehabilitation continued, also thanks to his role, as a consultant, at the Laboratory of Neurophysiology and Bioengineering at the S. Maugeri Foundation – Scientific Institute in Veruno. However, as his interest in physiology and pathology of the peripheral nervous system declined, his publications in the field of psychophysiology and psychopathology increased. He continued to pursue this line of research even after his retirement (1996), spending time at the laboratory in Veruno where, still displaying a youthful enthusiasm for research, he developed a new approach to the psychophysiological analysis of brain function (a method called multiple delayed reaction verbochronometry).
Paolo Pinelli received important recognition and many accolades in the course of his long career: President of the Italian Society of Neurology (1972–1974), member of the Biology and Medicine Committee of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), Vice President of the World Federation of Neurology, honorary member of the British, Spanish and Polish Neurology Societies. In 1999, the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Milan applied to the Italian Universities Ministry to have Paolo Pinelli named Professor Emeritus. This honour was conferred on him in 2000.
Following the death of his lifetime’s companion, Pinelli embarked on the production (between 2003 and 2014) of a rich collection of short stories that, using contemporary man as a bridge between the natural sciences and metaphysics, dealt with important topics such as love and death. During Paolo Pinelli’s long and ‘‘insatiable” life, many of his collaborators and pupils at the various universities in which he worked (Rome, Pavia, Milan) went on to become tenured professors, providing an indication of the quality of the ‘‘seeds” sown by this great teacher and scholar.
Arrigo Moglia *
Medical Faculty of University Pavia, Italy
* Corresponding author.
Professor Irena Hausmanowa-Petrusewicz (1917-2015)
Professor Irena Hausmanowa-Petrusewicz, one of the most distinguished Polish neurologists, a leader in the field of neuromuscular diseases and electromyography whose contribution was well recognized in international neurological society, passed away on July 7th, 2015.
Professor Hausmanowa-Petrusewicz was known not only as a neurologist, but across the whole medical society. The main strength of her creative understanding of science was the ability to incorporate the achievements of basic sciences, mainly biology, into clinical medicine. Her scientific interest included other disciplines and she collaborated with specialists in various scientific fields to realize her comprehensive approach to integrate the clinical observations with electrodiagnostics, morphology, and genetics.
The main research interest of Professor Hausmanowa-Petrusewicz was the correlation between the structural deficiency and the function in motor unit disorders in neuromuscular diseases, the role of delayed maturation of muscle and nerves in neuromuscular disorders, primarily in spinal muscular atrophy. In particular, her research showed the links between genotype and phenotype in spinal muscular atrophy in childhood and adolescence. More recently, her scientific interests turned to the spectrum of laminopathies, particularly their genetics, variability and phenotype-genotype correlations.
The results of her research contributed to our understanding of the etiopathogenesis of several muscle and peripheral nervous system diseases, especially spinal muscular atrophy, myasthenia gravis, and nucleopathy. Prof. Hausmanowa-Petrusewicz was the author or coauthor of 436 papers and 43 monographs and book chapters. The value of her scientific achievements is seen in the number of citations of her papers which exceeds three thousands.
Prof. Hausmanowa-Petrusewicz was born in Warsaw on 27 December 1917, graduated from high school in 1935 and started her study at the Medical Faculty University in Warsaw while simultaneously studying psychology. The outbreak of the World War II forced her to interrupt her studies at the Academy. During the war she moved to Lvov to continue her medical studies, got her diploma in 1941 and then moved to Kyrgyzstan and served in the Polish Army as a medical doctor in a field hospital.
After the end of the World War II, Prof. Hausmanowa-Petrusewicz returned to Poland. She confirmed her diploma at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow in 1945 and started her practice in the Department of Neurology at the Medical Academy of Warsaw. In 1945-48 she held the position of a fellow (training in neurology), assistant (1948-1951), assistant professor 1951-1953), associate professor (1954-1958) and since 1974 of a full professor. For thirty years, from 1958 to 1988, she served as the chairman of the Department of Neurology of the Medical Academy of Warsaw. Since 1989 she worked as the Head of Neuromuscular Unit, Medical Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Science that she set up in 1987.
Prof. Hausmanowa-Petrusewicz continued developing her interests in clinical neurophysiology by training in EMG; initially, with Prof. François Isch in Strasbourg in 1958 and with Prof. Fritz Buchthal in Copenhagen in 1959. She has developed the first EMG laboratory in Poland. During her years at the Medical Academy of Warsaw (1948-1988), she offered academic courses in graduate and postgraduate training in neurology and EMG. She was invited as lecturer to the Baylor College (Houston), Medical School of Groningen (Holland), Medical School of Tucson (Arizona), to Israel, Turkey, Russia, Japan, and many other places. Prof. Hausmanowa-Petrusewicz was the member of several scientific societies: Polish Neurological Society (1974 – 84 – president, since 1990 – honorary president), Polish Society of EEG and Clinical Neurophysiology, Polish Society of Pediatric Neurology (honorary), Polish Society of Neurosciences, Association Against Muscle Diseases.
Prof. Hausmanowa-Petrusewicz was well known in the international society of neurologists and neurophysiologists, as a member of international organizations such as World Federation Neurology (vice president 1974 – 78), European Federation of Neurological Societies, World Muscle Society. She was a honorary member of American Neurological Association, French Neurological Society, Italian Neurological Society, Bulgarian Neurological Society, Czech Neurological Society, European Neurological Society, German Pediatric Society, American Association of Electrodiagnostic, Medical Academy Gaetano Conte. She was awarded: Hans Berger Medal 1973, Erb-Duchenne Award 1985, Gaetano Conte Academy Golden Medal 1997, World Federation Award in neuromuscular disorders (2002) and was granted an honorary doctorate at the Strasbourg University (1986).
She was the member of editorial or advisory boards of the Polish Neurology and Neurosurgery, Journal Neurological Science, EMG a Clinical Neurophysiology, Acta Cardiomiologica, Current Neurology and Neuroscience, Journal of Neurology, Muscle & Nerve, Neuromuscular Disorders.
Prof. Hausmanowa-Petrusiewicz was an amazing and charming person endowed with an unusual personality. She was a very hard working person, and even later in her life she started every day of work early in the morning and worked till late afternoon. Among the people who knew her and her coworkers, Prof. Hausmanowa-Petrusewicz was admired and greatly respected, while simultaneously being very friendly. These sentiments were manifested at the annual celebrations of Professor’s Name Day, which several generations of students and coworkers attended. They come to meet her and the colleagues as in a big family. She was very friendly and interested in the personal lifes of her coworkers offering advices and help. Prof. Hausmanowa-Petrusewicz had also broad interest in other fields of sciences and culture and was interested in opinions and discussions on literature, theatre, cinema and music.
Prof. Hausmanowa-Pterusewicz personality had several unique characteristics: she was a creative and courageous scientist with a vision, who did not hesitate to take up difficult research topics. She was the first to see the necessity of combining knowledge of neurology and rehabilitation. She was also the first one to be interested in neuromuscular diseases in children, and this interest culminated in her opening of a rehabilitation center for them. She was also a pioneer in early rehabilitation after strokes that she indicated as crucial.
This creative strength and courage was fascinating for young scientists. Prof. Hausmanowa-Petrusewicz had the keen ability to attract and stimulate young people. She was very demanding and critical of her coworkers, however, anyone who was lucky enough to go through Prof. Hausmanowa-Petrusewicz’s training was prepared for clinical and scientific work as well as one can be. She also had an unusual relationship with patients and was interested in their everyday’s life. She understood their needs and she was a founder of the Polish Neuromuscular Diseases Association that helps families of patients with neuromuscular diseases.
Prof. Irena Hausmanowa-Petrusewicz will be remembered as a person of extraordinary personality and great scientific achievements, a unique person blessed with not only a great mind, but also with personal charm and a great personal culture, elegance, and warmth. Herr passing is a big loss for people who knew her personally and also for those whom she influenced by her work and activity. She will remain in our memory as an unusual and very important teacher, leader and friend. Prof. Irena Hausmanowa-Petrusewicz was to us a great person – an authority not only in science, but also, and perhaps above all – in human relations.
Prof. Ewa Zalewska
On behalf of Executive Board of Polish Society of Clinical Neurophysiology
Dietrich Lehmann, 1929 - 2014
Footnote: This obituary was originally published in Brain Topography on 01-09-2014, doi: 10.1007/s10548-014-0390-6, and is published here with the kind permission of the publisher, Springer Science+Business Media LLC.
We regret to announce the passing of our esteemed colleague, mentor and friend Dietrich Lehmann on June 16, 2014. He filled his 85 years with a passion and determination that could have continued for many, many more.
Dietrich Lehmann was a pioneer of EEG mapping. What is today elaborately termed high-density EEG or electrical neuroimaging, he had already implemented over 40 years ago. He was decades ahead of his time and had a hard time convincing a community focused on EEG waveform analysis about the views and methods he had developed that turned out to be state-of-the-art thinking in 2014. In 1969 — 45 years ago — he published, together with Derek Fender, a case report in the journal Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology where dipole source analysis was applied to averaged 48-channel visual evoked potentials on a patient with a split chiasm. Two years later, in 1971. he published the seminal paper entitled “Topography of spontaneous alpha EEG fields in humans” in the same journal that ultimately established the term EEG topography and paved the way for innovative spatial analyses of the electric field at the scalp.
Dietrich Lehmann was born on December 3, 1929 close to Heidelberg, Germany, where he completed his medical studies and received the MD degree in 1957. After internships in neurology in Heidelberg, Munich, Freiburg, and Marseille, he moved to California in 1963. He began as a research fellow at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), moved as senior researcher to the Californian Institute of Technology (CalTech), and finally became associate professor and acting chairman of the Department of Visual Science at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco, California. Papers from this period on sleep and somnambulism (Nature), visual perception (Science), and evoked as well as spontaneous field topography (Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology) already document not only his large impact and broad range of interests, but also the emerging focus of his EEG work on spatial analysis. In 1971 he accepted the appointment to the Department of Neurology at the University Hospital in Zurich, where he became Professor for Clinical Neurophysiology in 1988. He retired in 1997, but not before founding, in 1995, the KEY Institute for Brain-Mind Research at the University Hospital of Psychiatry in Zurich, where he remained scientific director until his death.
Besides his unremitting dedication to the spatial analysis of the EEG, Dietrich’s scientific interest focused on the ongoing fluctuation of the spontaneous neuronal activity of the human brain, its relation to daydreaming, its influence on perception, and its modulation in psychiatric diseases. He discovered that the spontaneous EEG as well as event-related potentials could be divided into continuous segments of stable spatial configurations of the electric field. He named these segments “functional microstates”, many years before the imaging community invented the terms “resting states” and “task states”. He proposed that these spatially stationary microstates might be the basic building blocks of information processing, possibly reflecting the time for consciousness — the “atoms of thought”. A large number of studies have examined (and continue to examine) the significance of these microstates and their modification in different diseases. Dietrich’s own work demonstrated microstate modulations in schizophrenia and also during sleep, hypnosis, and meditation, reflecting altered states of consciousness, which he found endlessly fascinating. The functional significance of microstates is still a hot topic and the subject of intense research.
Dietrich Lehmann was a fascinating personality with an insatiable and far-reaching thirst for knowledge and truth. He would discuss the ins and outs of theories of a biological basis of consciousness with the same insistence as he would argue about the proper seating of a subject in an experiment. He tirelessly fought for what he was convinced to be right and challenged those who presented, in his view, arguments that lacked a solid foundation, either in what was assumed to be true, or in what was to be considered as a-priori impossible, often supported by his sharp humor and skillful drawings. At the same time, he was as free and unorthodox about the hypotheses he considered worth pursuing as he was obsessed with methodological rigor and in-depth understanding of his own research. When publishing with him, reviewer comments were regularly far less challenging than Dietrich’s restless quest for perfection.
Dietrich was not a man for small-talk, and he did not like superficial people. For most who knew him, he was not only the inspiring true scientist, but also a particularly kind, modest, resourceful, and compassionate friend or mentor. His desire to understand the brain signals that he recorded did not diminish over the years. On the contrary, one of the last things he said to his wife and long-term scientific collaborator Martha Koukkou-Lehmann was, “It is too early. There is still so much to do in science.”
We wish to express our deepest condolences to Martha and to their daughters Phedra and Thalia, Dietrich’s son Marco, and the rest of the family. We will treasure Dietrich Lehmann in our memories forever.
Christoph M. Michel, Geneva, Switzerland
Daniel Brandeis, Zürich, Switzerland and Mannheim, Germany
Herbert Witte, Jena, Germany
Jiri Wackermann, Freiburg, Germany
Kieko Kochi, Osaka, Japan
Lorena Gianotti, Bern, Switzerland
Pascal Faber, Zürich, Switzerland
Patricia Milz, Zürich, Switzerland
Roberto Pascual-Marqui, Osaka, Japan
Thomas König, Bern, Switzerland
Toshihiko Kinoshita, Osaka, Japan
Werner Strik, Bern, Switzerland
Wolfgang Skrandies, Giessen, Germany
Jože Trontelj, 1939 - 2013
Our friend and colleague Jože has ended his days, much too early.
His impressive CV is, in brief:
Classical High School, Ljubljana – graduated with excellence in 1958
Medical Faculty, Ljubljana University – graduated in 1964
Specialized in Neurology, interested in Neurophysiology, with educational visits to Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, and Academic Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
PhD – ” A study of reflex activity of single spinal motor neurones in man” – 1972
Professor of Neurology, Medical and Health Faculty, Ljubljana University – 1996
Senior health counselor (advisor to Slovenian Health Ministry) since 1995
In 1979 he established the Department of Neurophysiology at Ibn Sina Hospital, Kuwait and worked there periodically until 1992.
Member Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA) – 1995
Secretary of SASA Section of Medical Sciences – 1999-2002
Vice-president of SASA – 2002
President of SASA – 2008
Republic of Slovenia Medical Ethics Committee – 2004
Slovenian delegate, European Council Bioethics Steering Committee – 1995 (co-operated in drafting the Oviedo convention and its protocols)
Member, Culture Strategic Board of the Slovenian Government – 2005-2008
Chairman of the Slovenian Health Council – 1996-1998
Member, Standing Committee of the Science & Ethics Board of the All European Academies (ALLEA) – 2010
Member, International Bioethics Committee (IBC) (Nominated by the Unesco General Secretary) – 2010
He was awarded several high Slovenian state awards:
- Boris Kidrič Foundation for Science in 1974 and 1980
- Kidrič award for highest achievements in science in 1989
- “Science Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia” in 2003
- “Golden Order of Merit” for his endeavors and achievements in science and ethics (awarded by the President of Slovenia) in 2009.
He was the first of Erik Stålberg´s students to visit Uppsala to learn SFEMG in 1967 and brought the technique home to Ljubljana, where he implemented it very successfully. With his observant eye he saw things not previously noticed, and refined and extended SFEMG not only within his own lab, but internationally. His scientific contributions are impressive, and many have learnt from him the gentle handling of the electrode and precise interpretation, open for the unexpected. His special interest was stimulation SFEMG. Among other publications, he was co-author of 3 editions of a monograph on SFEMG.
Jože devoted much of his time to bioethics in recent years. This was not only committee work, but he spread his knowledge in the field in many articles and in lectures. With a broad understanding of human nature, he was the right person to approach with difficult questions. Jože was a true humanist and people listened to his wise comments.
The SASA, of which he was still President, plays an important role in Slovenian society. Jože´s interest in science in general and in cultural and historical aspects made him the right man for this position. In spite of the fact that he liked it and felt the importance of helping his country in this field, to an outsider, it seemed to be a heavy burden.
Many of us saw Jože not only as teacher and scientist, but also as a friend. With his head held slightly to the side and with a constant smile, he saw us all individually. His warm-hearted appearance made the times we had together great moments in our lives. Many have in these last days commented on his humble and kind appearance. This image will remain in our minds, and we are thankful for all he gave us.
Jože was very close to his family, loved them, his home, his neighbours. He was a caring husband, father and grandfather. Our thoughts go to his wife, Tatjana, and the entire family. They have been his constant support and helped him enjoy his life so much.
Jože, THANK YOU!
You will find below here older obituary notices of pioneers in the field of clinical neurophysiology: