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Print version ISSN 0004-282X
Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. vol.70 no.7 São Paulo July 2012
Álvaro José de Lima Costa
On January 26 of this year, Professor Álvaro José de Lima Costa passed away. He was born on September 27, 1919, the son of Maria das Merces de Lima Costa and Álvaro Artur de Andrade Costa.
Álvaro as he liked to be called has left us, but his legacy will always make us remember him, because of his qualities as a teacher: a professor to the core. He was greatly esteemed by his students, of whom many became professors of Neurology in different Brazilian universities. What most motivated him was to demonstrate the neurological method and the vernacular, making art meet the science of Neurology. This was his style, especially in the outpatient clinics and wards of the Deolindo Couto Institute of Neurology and the Clementino Fraga Filho University Hospital of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). In classrooms, he enchanted his audience, especially the younger members, because Neurology was acted out almost like in the theater. His personality was unique: eccentric, with a great sense of humor, sometimes daring and with the spirit of a polemicist. He used refined language, with the appropriate tone, and he was scholar of the History of Medicine.
He graduated in 1946, from the Medical School of the University of Brazil (today, UFRJ) and he became a teacher at the same school. He was one of the assistants of Professor Deolindo Couto who participated most in the outpatient and ward activities, discussing the diverse aspects of the manifestations presented by the patients. He was a founder member of the Brazilian Academy of Neurology and Titular Professor of Neurology at UFRJ and at the Rio de Janeiro Medical School of Gama Filho University. He also graduated in Law from Cândido Mendes University. Álvaro achieved three full professorship titles in Neurology, from the Medical Schools of the University of Brazil (1952), Federal University of Minas Gerais (1962) and Federal University of Paraná (1965). He published four books, and the titles of the last three of them are enough to reveal his personality style and approach to Neurology: Parasitoses of the Nervous System (1967); Neurological Colloquia, with collaboration from Abdo Badim (1991); and Neurology: Drops and Spots (2000) and Neurology: Doubts and Hits (2006), both with collaboration from Professor Péricles Maranhão Filho.
He had three children with his beloved wife Lilia Thereza Junqueira de Lima Costa: Marcelo, Cláudia and Suzana Costa Nunes Machado. Suzana is a Titular Member of the Brazilian Academy of Neurology based in Florianópolis. By coincidence, his wife preceded his farewell exactly on January 26, fourteen years earlier.
Álvaro leaves us missing his presence, but with a legacy to take pleasure from: that of romantic Neurology.
Marleide da Mota Gomes
Péricles Maranhão Filho