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DURING his term as assistant in the medical clinic of this city, Dr. Jakob devoted a great deal of time to the study of the normal and pathologic anatomy of the nervous system. As he is the owner of an extensive collection of histologic sections, prepared by himself according to the best methods of investigation, he is in a position to compile the present atlas for the most part from his own preparations. I am sure that any impartial critic will agree with me that the illustrations accomplish all that can be expected of illustrations. They present the actual conditions in the plainest and most intelligible manner possible, and illustrate very fully the numerous and important discoveries which have been made in the study of the nervous system. The student and the practising physician who is not thoroughly familiar with this branch of medical science can, with the help of this atlas, obtain a clear idea of the present state of neurology with comparatively little trouble. There is perhaps not another department of medicine in which the intimate connection between clinical pathology and normal and pathologic anatomy is so manifest and so constant as in neuropathology.
The consistent treatment of the relations between the facts of normal anatomy and pathology, together withi the fullness and attention to detail shown in the illustrations,—which, although not schematic, yet give a comprehensive view of the things they portray,—can not fail to be of the highest didactic value.
The author has devoted himself with untiring industry to the task of achieving a work of real and lasting value, and I heartily trust it may meet with the success which it deserves.
In the present volume I have endeavored to free an important branch of medicine—one that is admittedly regarded by the majority of students and practitioners in every department of our science as the least attractive, and which is, therefore, the least familiar—from the odium which unfortunately clings to it, by presenting the peculiarities of its normal and pathologic anatomy in an intelligible form.
It has been my object to help the student to understand the clinical pictures he sees in the clinics, and their underlying pathologic processes, and to enable the practising physician, who is naturally less familiar with the modern development of neurology, to grasp the significance of the more important recent discoveries.
I have, accordingly, made the fullest possible use of pictorial representation, and have kept all unnecessary details, especially those relating to the histology, in the background in the preparation of the explanatory text.
The illustrations in the main present the actual conditions rather than a diagrammatic version of them. Although the stained preparations were found to be indispensable, a number of fresh, unstained specimens were also utilized. It is to be remembered, however, that even the most faithful reproduction, such as that afforded by a photograph, can not take the place of actual dissection and examination of the fresh brain.
The reproduction of the specimens in lithographs and wood-cuts was done by competent workers under my constant supervision. The atlas is founded on the collection of specimens which I was able to gather during the years that I acted as assistant in the medical clinic in Erlangen.
To my former chief, Dr. von Strümpell, I am deeply indebted for his kindness in placing all the necessary material at my disposition, and for his amiable assistance in the elucidation of difficult questions, and I wish to seize this opportunity of once more expressing my sincerest thanks.
A word more in regard to the study of the plates: As the space
devoted to the text was necessarily limited, it was, of course, impossible to give a minute description of the wealth of facts presented for study by the illustrations, and the descriptions, therefore, contain only the essential points. I do not, however, regard this altogether as a disadvantage, for I believe it will prove the means of supplying the necessary impetus to careful, independent study of the plates, and thus lead the student to form an independent opinion, which is the highest pleasure we enjoy in the pursuit of our science. I believe the material contained in the plates to be sufficient for this purpose.