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Keywords:

  • Lewy bodies;
  • Lewy body dementia;
  • medical history;
  • Parkinsonism;
  • Parkinson's disease

Abstract

In 1912, Fritz Heinrich Lewy described neuronal inclusions in the brain of patients who had suffered from Paralysis agitans (i.e., Parkinson's disease). Later, these findings became the so-called “Lewy bodies.” However, little is known about the man who made this discovery. Our aim was to investigate Lewy's private and professional life and to gather information for a detailed biography. We contacted over 100 archives, libraries, and museums in Germany, Poland, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States. Over 300 documents, publications, and photos were collected. Lewy was born in Berlin, Germany in 1885 and lived there until 1933. After his dismissal on racial grounds by the Nazis, Lewy emigrated to England in 1933 and to the United States of America in 1934, where he lived and worked until his death in 1950. This article gives a summary of Lewy's life and briefly presents his contribution to German and American neurology. © 2010 Movement Disorder Society