Felix Plater (or Platter) (October 28, 1536 – July 28, 1614) was a Swiss physician, professor in Basel, well known for his classification of psychiatric diseases, and was also the first to describe an intracranial tumour (a meningioma). He was born and died in Basel.
Felix Plater was the son of humanist Thomas Platter, and the half-brother of Thomas Platter the Younger. Plater's description of Dupuytren's disease in 1614 is explained with regard to his understanding of the anatomy. The current view that Plater believed the disease to be caused by dislocation and shortening of the flexor tendons is based upon misinterpretation of the original Latin text. With the help of his anatomical studies, Plater had proven that subcutaneous ligamentous extensions of the palmar aponeurosis and not the flexor tendons were responsible for Dupuytren's disease. Felix Plater realised more than one hundred and fifty years before Henry Cline, Astley Cooper, and Dupuytren, the palmar aponeurosis was the anatomical substrate of the disease.
In the view of historian David Wootton, developed in the book Bad Medicine, Platter was the first proponent of the Germ theory of disease.
- Belusa L, Selzer AM, Partecke BD, 'Description of Dupuytren disease by the Basel physician and anatomist Felix Plater in 1614', Handchir Mikrochir Plast Chir., 1995 Sep;27(5):272-5. German. PMID 7498844
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