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Keywords:

  • Tretiakoff;
  • substantia nigra;
  • Parkinson's disease.

Abstract

Konstantin Tretiakoff's doctoral dissertation “Contribution a l'Etude de L'Anatomie pathologique du Locus Niger de Soemmering avec quelques déductions relatives à la pathogénie des troubles du tonus musculaire et De La Maladie de Parkinson” (A Study of the Pathological anatomy of the locus niger of Soemerring and its relevance to the pathogenesis of changes in muscular tone in Parkinson's disease) published in 1919 earned him a silver medal awarded by the University of Paris but failed to gain him the recognition its importance deserved. Despite belated acknowledgment of the importance of his findings Tretiakoff received little acclaim during his life and there have been no biographical accounts written in English or French. Fifty years after his death it seems appropriate to relate some aspects of his interesting peripatetic life and recognize the continuing relevance of his pioneering research on “the black stuff” to our understanding of Parkinson's disease. © 2008 Movement Disorder Society