Jean Lhermitte

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For the Navy officer, see Jean-Marthe-Adrien l'Hermite

Jacques Jean Lhermitte (English: /lɛərˈmt/) (20 January 1877 – 24 January 1959) was a French neurologist and neuropsychiatrist.

He was born in Mont-Saint-Père, Aisne, son of Léon Augustin Lhermitte, a French realist painter. Following his early education at Saint-Etienne, he studied in Paris and graduated in medicine in 1907. He specialised in neurology and became Chef-de-clinique (resident) for nervous diseases in 1908, Chef de laboratoire in 1910, and professeur agrégé for psychiatry 1922. He later became Médecin des Hôpitaux at the "Hospice Paul Brousse", head of the foundation "Dejerine", and clinical director at the Salpêtrière Hospital. During World War I, he studied spinal injuries and became interested in neuropsychiatry. This led to publications on visual hallucinations of the self. A deeply religious man, he explored the common territory between theology and medicine, and this led to interesting studies on demoniacal possession and stigmatisation.

Lhermitte was a noted clinical neurologist, and a number of medically relevant eponyms bear his name:


  • Techniques anatomo-pathologiques du système nerveux. Paris, 1914
  • Psycho-névroses de guerre. Paris, 1916
  • Les blessures de la moelle épinière. Paris, 1917
  • La section totale de la moelle épinière. Paris, 1918
  • Les fondements biologiques de la psychologie. Paris, 1925
  • Les hallucinations: clinique et physiopathologie. Paris, 1951