J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 76:441 doi:10.1136/jnnp.2004.048058
  • Historical note

Gabriel Anton’s (1858–1933) contribution to the history of neurosurgery

  1. E Kumbier,
  2. K Haack
  1. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Rostock, Germany
  1. Correspondence to:
 Ekkehardt Kumbier
 Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Rostock, Germany, Gehlsheimer Straße 20, D-18147 Rostock;

    The existence of neurosurgery as a scientific discipline, owes its emergence in large to surgeons themselves as well as to neurologists and psychiatrists who utilised the morphological approach. Among the lead contributors to nascent neurosurgery was the neuro-psychiatrist Gabriel Anton, who strongly influenced the development of this discipline during the first two decades of the 20th century. One of his most renowned scientific achievements was the Anton-von Bramannsche Balkenstich method of treating hydrocephalus. In collaboration with fellow surgeons Gustav von Bramann and Victor Schmieden, he proposed new clinical procedures for the treatment of hydrocephalus: the Balkenstich method and the suboccipital puncture.

    Preliminary considerations

    The establishment of neurosurgery as an independent discipline within the broad field of medicine required a fundamental knowledge of the structure and function of the nervous system. The beginning of modern neurosurgery is …