Max Bielschowsky

Max Bielschowsky

Max Bielschowsky (February 19, 1869 - August 15, 1940) was a German neuropathologist who was born in Breslau.

Bielschowsky worked with Ludwig Edinger (1855-1918) at the Senckenberg Pathology Institute in Frankfurt-am-Main where he learned histological staining techniques from Carl Weigert (1845-1904). From 1896-1904 he worked in psychiatrist Emanuel Mendel's (1839-1907) laboratory in Berlin. In 1904 joined Oskar Vogt (1870-1959) at the neurobiological laboratory at the University of Berlin, where he remained until 1933. Afterwards he worked at the psychiatric clinic at the University of Utrecht, and the Cajal Institute in Madrid.

Bielschowsky made many contributions concerning research of tuberous sclerosis, amaurotic idiocy, paralysis agitans, Huntington’s chorea and myotonia congenita. He is remembered for his pathological work with sclerosis and the use of an histological silver stain for impregnation of nerve fibers. The eponymous Bielschowsky sliver stain technique was an improvement on the method developed by Ramon y Cajal (1852-1934).

Partial Bibliography

  • Die Silberimprägnation der Achsencylinder; Neurologisches Zentralblatt, Leipzig, 1902, 21: 579-84. Neurologisches Zentralblatt, Leipzig, 1903, 22: 997-1006; (Bielschowsky stains).
  • Allgemeine Histologie und Histopathologie des Nervensystems. In: Max Lewandowsky (publisher), Handbuch der Neurologie. Volume 1, Berlin, 1910.
  • Herpes Zoster. In: Max Lewandowsky (publisher): Handbuch der Neurologie. Volume 5, Berlin, 1910.
  • Über spätinfantile familiäre amaurotische Idiotie mit Kleinhirnsymptomen. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Nervenheilkunde, 1914, 50: 7-29. (Bielschowsky’s amaurotic idiocy).


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