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Wilhelm Heinrich Erb (1840–1921) and his contributions to neuroscience
  1. Levent Sarikcioglu,
  2. Ramazan Yavuz Arican
  1. Department of Anatomy, Akdeniz University Faculty of Medicine, Antalya, Turkey
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Levent Sarikcioglu
 Department of Anatomy, Akdeniz University Faculty of Medicine, 07070 Antalya, Turkey; sarikcioglu{at}

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Wilhelm Heinrich Erb was a renowned German neurologist and an eminent physician of his time. He is well known for his innovative contributions to neurology. Erb became known primarily for his contributions to diagnosing and treating various neurological disorders. He was one of the clinicians to use electricity in the diagnosis and treatment of nervous disorders.1 Duchenne should not be overlooked in the history of electrical stimulation. He used his electrical stimulation technique, which he called “électrisation localisée” (localised faradisation), as a clinical diagnostic and prognostic tool, as well as a physiological means of exploring the anatomy of the living.2

Apart from Erb’s description of the disorders to which his name is attached, he pioneered the usage of reflex hammer in neurological examinations. Additionally, he introduced the term “tendon reflex”. He gave his name to paralysis of the brachial plexus and described important neurological terms.1

Erb was born in Winweiler, the Bavarian Palatinate, …

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  • Competing interests: None declared.

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