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Doctoral Thesis 

Doctoral Thesis
Doctoral Thesis

Olivier Walusinski

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date: 10 May 2021

On December 28, 1885, Gilles de la Tourette defended his doctoral thesis in medicine with his teacher, Jean-Martin Charcot, presiding over the jury. The subject, proposed by Charcot himself, involved studying footprints made on sheets of white paper and establishing gait anomalies during various stages of neurological disorders. Gilles de la Tourette spent 1884 and 1885 working on his thesis. His footprints graphical study, which may appear simplistic, is the first of its kind in neurology, making it innovative and valuable. It drew on similar orthopedic studies previously conducted in other European countries. These studies are reviewed here, and the genesis, technical aspects, and results of Gilles de la Tourette’s study are analyzed. The impact of his thesis is examined based on summaries published in the medical press and the fact that Gilles de la Tourette was awarded a prize by the Académie de Médecine for this work.

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