SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.67 issue2AAbsence of MRI exams in epidemiological studies can leads to clinical overdiagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and underdiagnosis of vascular dementiaDid darwin have syncope caused by chagas' disease? author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links


Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4227

Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. vol.67 no.2a São Paulo June 2009 



Professor Charles David Marsden




On September 29th, 1998, Professor C.D. Marsden died unexpected and prematurely at the age 60 years.1-3 Professor Marsden was considered at the time, one of the most important and productive clinical neuroscientists and his scientific contributions in the field of movement disorders were outstanding landmarks. He was one of the 10 most cited biomedical scientists worldwide with 1070 publications with emphasis on the physiology of movement, dystonia, myoclonus, tremor and Parkinson's disease, including the first descriptions of new movement disorders such as painful legs/moving toes syndromes, abdominal dyskinesias, reticular reflex myoclonus, cortical myoclonus, propriospinal myoclonus, gait ignition failure and primary writing tremor.1-4 Among his several classic papers was the one entitled "Mysterious motor function of the basal ganglia: the Robert Wartemberg Lecture", a cornerstone at the time, remaining to this day as one of the most cited papers in the field.5 Professor Marsden was the founder, along with Professor S. Fahn, of the Movement Disorders Society, as well as the editor of the Movement Disorders Journal and the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.1-3

During the last few years, the field of movement disorders has advanced tremendously, particularly due to the recent enlightenment coming from neurogenetics, molecular biology, neuro-imaging and also neurophysiology; the contributions of Professor Marsden, however, remain alive and au courant. During the latest edition of the International Congress of the Movement Disorders Society, in June 2008 in Chicago, several eminent authorities in this area recalled and recognized the diverse contributions left by the great master from Queen Square.

Ten years after his passing, it is fundamental to remember the seminal contributions of this outstanding neuroscientist, an icon of the 20th century in the field of neuroscience.

Paraphrasing the disciples of Charcot, E. Brissau and Pierre Marie, in the article published in 1893 in the Revue Neurologique, entitled "Nécrologie de J-Martin Charcot", we can say that "recognition is the sweetest sensation" 6.



1. Fahn S. Professor C.David Marsden. Arch Neurol 1999; 56:119-120.         [ Links ]

2. Lang AE. Professor Charles David Marsden. Neurology 1999; 52:14-15.         [ Links ]

3. Lees AJ. C. David Marsden (April 15, 1938-September 29, 1998). Mov Disord 1999; 14:3-5.         [ Links ]

4. Marsden CD. The mysterious motor function of the basal ganglia: the Robert Wartemberg Lecture. Neurology 1982; 32: 514-539.         [ Links ]

5. Teive HA, Zavala JA, Iwamoto FM, Sá D, Carraro H Jr, Werneck LC. Contributions of Charcot and Marsden to the development of movement disorders in the 19th and 20th centuries. Arq Neuropsiquiatr 2001; 59:633-636.         [ Links ]

6. Brissaud E, Marie P. Nécrologie. J-M Charcot. Rev Neurol 1893; 16:29-30.         [ Links ]


Hélio A.G. Teive
Renato Puppi Munhoz

Movement Disorders Unit / Neurology Service
Internal Medicine Department
Hospital de Clínicas/Federal University of Paraná

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License