SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.70 issue12Epileptologists probe vagus nerve stimulation in children with refractory epilepsy: a promise against sudden unexpected death in epilepsyDelirium, psychosis, and visual hallucinations induced by pregabalin author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links


Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282X

Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. vol.70 no.12 São Paulo Dec. 2012 



Fifty years of the Brazilian Academy of Neurology


Cinquenta anos da Academia Brasileira de Neurologia



Marleide da Mota GomesI; José Luiz de Sá CavalcantiII

INeurologist, Associate Professor, Institute of Neurology/Faculty of Medicine at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro RJ, Brazil
IINeurologist, Director, Institute of Neurology,UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro RJ, Brazil





The 50th anniversary of the Brazilian Academy Neurology (BAN) is being celebrated. BAN was founded on May 5th, in 1962. The BAN initial leaders and members are treated with reverence, as well as the honorable place where its foundation took place: the Institute of Neurology, first in Brazil, at the backyards of the ancient National Hospice for the Insane, which is an important and fruitful birthplace of the Brazilian Neurology.

Key words: Brazilian Academy of Neurology, history, neurosciences.


A Academia Brasileira de Neurologia (ABN) está comemorando seu 50º aniversário. A ABN foi fundada em 05 de maio de 1962. Os líderes e membros iniciais da Academia são reverenciados, bem como o lugar distinto em que ela foi fundada: o Instituto de Neurologia, primeiro do Brasil, nos terrenos do antigo Hospício Nacional de Alienados, um berço importante e fecundo da Neurologia Brasileira.

Palavras-Chave: Academia Brasileira de Neurologia, história, neurociências.



The Brazilian Academy of Neurology (BAN) was founded on May 5th, 1962, with the purpose of organizing and overseeing the Brazilian neurology educational and scientific activities. Its history is related to the earliest days of the Brazilian Neurology, from the Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo Schools of Neurology. The remote origin of both came respectively from Antônio Austregésilo Rodrigues de Lima (Recife, 1876 – Rio de Janeiro, 1960), founder of the Brazilian Neurology (1912)1, and Enjolras Vampré (Laranjeiras, 1885 – São Paulo, 1938)2, the founder of São Paulo Neurology.

The leader-founding group who had the foresight to establish the BAN was the successors of two primary leaders: Deolindo Augusto de Nunes Couto3, the main Brazilian Neurologist at the time, Adherbal Pinheiro Machado Tolosa4, and Paulino Watt Longo5. Oswaldo Lange6 had also a prominent role in this initiative, as well as Antonio Spina-França Netto7, his beloved disciple and young neurologist at the time (Fig 1).



As Spina-França6 stressed, the efforts that led to the creation of the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) in Brussels, in 1957, chaired by Ludo van Bogaert and Macdonald Critchley as vice-president, strengthened the idea, in the early 1960s, of ​​creating a Brazilian neurological society. The São Paulo School of Neurology, leaded by Longo and Lange, with many others, asked Deolindo Couto to head the initiative. Paulo Pinto Pupo and Lange wrote the first BAN statute and such academy joined the World Federation of Neurology (WFN)6. In 1966, Lange was elected Delegate of BAN in the WFN, position renewed every four years until 19786,7. However, the essays of the BAN creation also began from other previous initiatives.

The Society of Psychiatry, Neurology and Legal Medicine was launched in 1907 and, two years earlier, its journal was founded: Arquivos Brasileiros de Psiquiatria, Neurologia e Ciências Afins, the first Brazilian journal specialized in Psychiatry, Neurology, and related sciences8. In 1908, the name changed to Arquivos Brasileiros de Psiquiatria, Neurologia e Medicina Legal, and, in 1919, it was published under the name of Arquivos Brasileiros de Neuriatria e Psiquiatria8. The periodical presents proposals put forward for this field in Brazil, always under the leadership of Juliano Moreira (Salvador, 1873 – Rio de Janeiro, 1932), who was the founder of the Brazilian scientific Psychiatry, Director of the National Hospice for the Insane (NHI), from 1903 to 19309. In the beginning of the 20th century, the NHI was extremely important to the Brazilian Neurology origin. The ‘father' of the Brazilian neurology used to work there, Antonio Austregésilo, and special care was provided for patients with neurosyphilis, epilepsy, and oligophrenia9.

São Paulo had already launched its Neuropsychiatric Society. Vampré was the founder of the Paulista Medical Association and its Section of Neurology and Psychiatry (1930)2. He was also a member of the Society of Neurology and Psychiatry in Rio de Janeiro. Tolosa cooperated in the founding of the association and chaired its Department of Neuropsychiatry, in 1934. Vampre's activities as a Medicine professor began in 1925, when he was hired to direct the Chair of Psychiatry and Nervous Diseases at the Medical College of São Paulo. In 1935, unfolding the chair, he was appointed to conduct the one of Neurology. After his early death, his disciples Adherbal Tolosa and Paulino Longo, after competition, assumed, respectively, the chair of the Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Universidade de São Paulo, and the other, of Neurology in the Paulista School of Medicine4,5. Antonio Spina-França Netto was the Professor of Neurology after Horacio Martins Canelas (1919–1995), the third professor of Vampré's School. The three Vampré disciples — Tolosa, Longo, and Lange — created a journal to disseminate the fruits of the neurological Paulista School. The first issue was prefaced by both São Paulo Professors of Neurology6. The Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria was founded in 1943. Lange edited it until 1986, and he was replaced by Spina-França after that. This is the official journal of the BAN since 1970.



The meeting in which the BAN was constituted was carried out at the Institute of Neurology of Rio de Janeiro, chaired by Deolindo Couto, at the same ground where the main stream of the Brazilian neurology begun (Fig 2). Other associated neurologists involved with this early history were enrolled in the inserted record (Fig 3). The society foundation was recorded at the Registration Office of Deeds and Documents of the city of São Paulo. Deolindo Couto was acclaimed its patron during his lifetime. He was son of Henrique José Couto and Maria R. de Nunes Couto. He studied until secondary school in his homeland, and was trained in Medicine at the University of Brazil, where he turned Professor and Dean. He was president of the Brazilian Academy of Neurology from 1964 to 1966, with Fernando Pompeu as secretary and Ismar Fernandes as treasurer. The BAN first directory was given to Adherbal Tolosa (president), Paulo Pinto Pupo (secretary), and Horacio M. Canelas (treasurer). The first BAN scientific meeting was in 196310, in the city of Curiti­ba, a decision of the leaders to spread and reinforce the Brazilian neurology as a whole. The first Congress was in 1964 in the city of Ribeirão Preto, in São Paulo state, under the presidency of Jorge Armbrust de Figueiredo.






The symbol of the BAN (Fig 4) was a proposition of Deolindo Couto. It is composed by owl, oil lamp, square and sphere, each one with its own meaning. Ancient Athenians made the owl an emblem of wisdom, and it represents its goddess of foresight and knowledge. The oil lamp is a personification of night and vigilance, and it is surrounded by a rectangle, which is an old symbol of the material world. The rounded outer contour with the name of the BAN is an ancient and universal symbol of unity and wholeness.




In conclusion, the birth of BAN is the result of the visionary leadership of representative neurologists from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, 50 years ago. It took place at the Institute of Neurology headed by Deolindo Couto, the patron of the BAN, and at the main grounds of the birthplace of the Brazilian Neurology in Rio de Janeiro, the old NHI.



1. Gomes MM, Cavalcanti JLS. Brazilian Neurology birth (1912) and the schism between the fields of Neurology and Psychiatry. In press.         [ Links ]

2. Begliomini H. Enjolras Vampré. Cadeira nº 54- Patrono. s/a. Available at: Accessed Apr 21 2012.         [ Links ]

3. Gomes MM, Costa AJ. Centenário de Deolindo Couto. Arq Neuropsiquiatr 2002;60:170-172.         [ Links ]

4. Begliomini H. Adherbal Pinheiro Machado Tolosa. Cadeira nº 25 - Patrono. s/a. Available at: Accessed Apr 21 2012.         [ Links ]

5. Paulino Watt Longo. Available at: Accessed Apr 21 2012.         [ Links ]

6. Spina-França A. The centenary of Dr. Oswaldo Lange. Arq Neuropsiquiatr 2003;61:1-6.         [ Links ]

7. Os Editores. Prof. Spina-França. Arq Neuropsiquiatr 2010;68: 485-488.         [ Links ]

8. Facchinetti C, Cupello P, Evangelista DF. Arquivos Brasileiros de Psiquiatria, Neurologia e Ciências Afins: uma fonte com muita história. Hist Cienc Saude-Manguinhos 2010;17(Suppl 2):S527-S535.         [ Links ]

9. Gomes MM, Cavalcanti MT. National Hospice for the Insane and the Brazilian Neurology at the beginning of the 20th century. In press.         [ Links ]

10. Teive HA. Brazilian Academy of Neurology: first meeting: Curitiba, 1963. Arq Neuropsiquiatr 2008;66:279-281.         [ Links ]



Marleide da Mota Gomes
Instituto de Neurologia Deolindo Couto, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
Avenida Venceslau Braz 95
22290-140 Rio de Janeiro RJ - Brasil

Received 28 May 2012
Received in final form 05 July 2012
Accepted 12 July 2012

Conflict of interest: There is no conflict of interest to declare.

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