Leningrad: Izdatel’stvo Vsesoyuznogo instituta eksperiment. medetsiny, 1934. Item #353
139 pp.: ill. 23x15 cm. In original wrappers. Very good. Some general wear of the wrappers, small cracks of the spine.
First edition. One of 4000 copies. Very rare.
One of the milestone textbooks and second published book on neurogenetics by Sergei Davidenkov (1880-1961), an outstanding clinician and founder of Russian clinical neurogenetics. In 1930s he worked with Ivan Pavlov (1849–1936) in All-Union Institute of Experimental Medicine in Leningrad. Davidenkov adopted Pavlov’s physiological teaching to explain various neurological symptoms and was instrumental in popularizing it among Russian neurologists.
Throughout his career Davidenkov’s scientific work mainly focused on hereditary neurological diseases. He introduced the term ‘neurogenetics’ and was one of the first to formulate a concept of the anticipation phenomenon. By means of careful genealogical inquiry and meticulous clinical examination he recognized the genetically heterogeneous nature of many phenotypically similar disorders. In 1925 he wrote ‘Hereditary Disorders of the Nervous System’, in which he advocated classification of disorders according to a systematic genetic catalogue rather than by phenotype. In this Davidenkov was well ahead of his time. In Russia, he was also the first to systematically study disorders with polygenic inheritance (e.g. various forms of epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and narcolepsy).
In the late 1920s in Moscow he founded the first institutes for genetic counseling. Further textbooks were ‘The Problems of Polymorphism in Hereditary Disorders of the Nervous System’ (1934) and ‘The Problems of Evolution and Genetics in Neurology’ (1947). After 1948, however, genetic studies were officially declared ‘bourgeois pseudoscience’; Davidenkov’s scientific possibilities were almost entirely restricted to clinical research and some of his books were publicly defamed as ‘lying science’.
Worldcat locates copies in National Library of Medicine and The New York Academy of Medicine.