Charles-Edouard Brown-Séquard is known as the Father of Endocrinology
Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard, was born on April 8, 1817, Port Louis, Mauritius, and he was died on April 1, 1894, Paris, France
He was a French physiologist and neurologist, a pioneer endocrinologist and neurophysiologist who was among the first to work out the physiology of the spinal cord.
After graduating in medicine from the University of Paris in 1846, Brown-Séquard taught at Harvard University (1864–68) and practiced medicine briefly in New York and London. He succeeded Claude Bernard in 1878 as professor of experimental medicine in the Collège de France.
In 1849 Brown-Séquard discovered that the sensory—but not the motor—fibres in the spinal cord are crossed, so that a cut halfway through the cord from one side produces paralysis in the same side of the body but anesthesia in the side opposite to the cut.
In 1856 he discovered that the adrenal gland is essential for life, and he later showed that “internal secretions” (i.e., hormones) serve the body’s cells as a second means of communication with each other (the first being the nervous system).
Brown-Séquard achieved notoriety in old age by reporting (1889) that he had “rejuvenated” himself by subcutaneous injections of a fluid prepared from the testicles of freshly killed guinea pigs and dogs. This sensational claim did, however, stimulate subsequent research on the sex hormones.
In the late 19th century Brown-Séquard gave rise to much controversy in the case of supposed modification-inheritance by his experiments on guinea pigs.
In a series of experiments extending over many years (1869 to 1891), he showed that a partial section of the spinal cord, or a section of the sciatic nerve, was followed after a few weeks by a peculiar morbid state resembling epilepsy. The offspring of the animals operated on were frequently decrepit, and a certain number showed a tendency to the so-called epilepsy.
Although some scientists considered the experiments as evidence for Lamarckian inheritance, the experiments were not Lamarckian as Lamarck had rejected that this sort of acquired characteristic was inherited as such experiments did not involve the use and disuse of characters in response to the environment. One explanation for the results was that they show a transmitted disease and not evidence for the inheritance of an acquired character. His experiments are now considered anomalous and alternative explanations have been suggested.