Vladimir Karlovich Roth (1848-1916): the founder of neuromuscular diseases studies in Russia

Valery M. Kazakov 1,2 , Dmitry I. Rudenko 1,2 , Tima R. Stuchevskaya 1,2

1 Department of Neurology, Pavlov State Medical University; 2 Neuromuscular Unit, City Hospital 2, St. Petersburg, Russia

This article shortly examines the biography, scientific activity and scientific work on neuromuscular diseases of the famous Russian neurologist Vladimir Roth who was the founder of neuromuscular disorders study in Russia. In 1876 he was the first in Russia who performed an autopsy and a detailed histological study of a case of progressive muscular atrophy, in which he did not find changes in the nervous system. He called this disease “muscular tabes” i.e. myopathy. In 1884 Vladimir Roth expressed his opinion about the nosological place of the peripheral type of muscular tabes to be considered as a distal myopathy. Dr. Roth became well-known for his monograph of the neuromuscular diseases, published in Moscow in 1895 under the name “Muscular Tabes” in which he described the history of neuromuscular diseases in a very detailed way, analyzing 1014 cases published in the world literature from 1830 to 1893 and 125 personal observations in the period 1874-1894. He performed a thorough analysis of the pattern of muscle involvement using both electrodiagnostic and histological study of muscles and central/peripheral nervous system. We report a short review of this monograph and two cases of peripheral (distal) myopathy.

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