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Johann Ludwig Wilhelm Thudichum

Johann Ludwig Wilhelm Thudichum (August 27, 1829 - September 7, 1901) was a German physician and biochemist who was a native of Büdingen. He studied medicine in Giessen, where he also worked in the laboratory of chemist Justus von Liebig (1803-1873). In 1853 he moved to London, where he practiced medicine for the remainder of his career.

Thudichum was a pioneer in the field of neurochemistry, and a founder of "brain chemistry". He performed chemical analyses of over one thousand human and animal brains, and specialized in pathological chemistry. He is credited with the isolation and description of numerous compounds of the brain, including cephalin, sphingomyelin, galactose, lactic acid and sphingosine. In 1884 he described his research in a publication titled "A Treatise on the Chemical Constitution of the Brain", which was widely criticized and rejected at the time by many in the scientific community. After his death, the discoveries from Thudichum's research have been realized as important scientific contributions to the study of the chemical and molecular composition of the brain.

Thudichum published over eighty works, including books on non-medical topics such as viticulture and cookery. He also devised a specialized nasal speculum that is still in use by physicians today. Since 1974 the "Thudichum Medal Lecture" is awarded in England for outstanding achievements in the field of neurochemistry, and at Yale University, the "Thudichum Post–Doctoral Research Fellowship in Neuro-oncology" is granted for the research of brain tumors.

Selected writings

  • A treatise on the pathology of urine, London, John Churchill, 1858
  • A treatise on the origin, nature, and varieties of wine; being a complete manual of viticulture and oenology, London, New York, Macmillian, 1872
  • A treatise on the chemical constitution of the brain, London, Bailliere, Tindall and Cox, 1884
  • The progress of medical chemistry. comprising its application to: physiology, pathology and the practice of medicine, London, Bailliere, Tindall and Cox., 1896


  • The American Journal of Psychiatry; J.L.W. Thudichum

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Johann_Ludwig_Wilhelm_Thudichum". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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