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Neurosurgery. 2007 Nov;61(5):1091-6; discussion 1096.

The seminal contributions of Johann-Christian Reil to anatomy, physiology, and psychiatry.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, Irvine, Orange, California 92868-3298, USA.


Johann-Christian Reil (1759-1813) was a prominent German physician, anatomist, physiologist and a professor at the Universities of Halle and Berlin. Anatomic features named after him include the island of Reil (insula), Beau-Reil cross furrows, Reil's finger, the fillet of Reil, and Reil's triangle. In 1795, he founded the first German journal of physiology, Archiv für die Physiologie. Later, he would also be considered the founder of German psychiatry (the "German Pinel") and coined the term "psychiatry." In addition, he was a private confidante and physician to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Reil died in 1813 from typhus while treating soldiers wounded in the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig during the Napoleonic Wars.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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