Pierre Marie

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Pierre Marie
Pierre Marie
Born9 September 1853 (1853-09-09)
Died13 April 1940 (1940-04-14) (aged 86)
Known foracromegaly, Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, physical culture
Scientific career

Pierre Marie (9 September 1853 – 13 April 1940) was a French neurologist and political journalist close to the SFIO.

Medical career[edit]

After finishing medical school, he served as an interne (1878), working as an assistant to neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot (1825–1893) at the Salpêtrière and Bicêtre Hospitals in Paris. In 1883 he received his medical doctorate with a graduate thesis on Basedow’s disease, being promoted to médecin des hôpitaux several years later (1888). In 1907 he attained the chair of pathological anatomy at the Faculty of Medicine, and in 1917 was appointed to the chair of neurology, a position he held until 1925. In 1911 Marie became a member of the Académie de Médecine.

One of Marie's earlier contributions was a description of a disorder of the pituitary gland known as acromegaly. His analysis of the disease was an important contribution in the emerging field of endocrinology. Marie is also credited as the first to describe pulmonary hypertrophic osteoarthropathy, cleidocranial dysostosis and rhizomelic spondylosis. In his extensive research of aphasia, his views concerning language disorders sharply contrasted the generally accepted views of Paul Broca (1824–1880). In 1907, he was the first person to describe the speech production disorder of foreign accent syndrome.[1]

Marie was the first general secretary of the Société Française de Neurologie, and with Édouard Brissaud (1852–1909), he was co-founder of the journal Revue neurologique. His name is associated with the eponymous Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, being named along with Jean-Martin Charcot and Howard Henry Tooth (1856–1925). This disease is characterized by gradual progressive loss of distal muscle tissue in the arms and feet. It is considered the most common disease within a group of conditions known as "hereditary motor and sensory neuropathies" (HMSN).[2]

Among the doctors trained by Pierre Marie at the beginning of the 20th century account the Spanish neuropathologists Nicolás Achúcarro and Gonzalo Rodríguez Lafora, two distinguished disciples of Santiago Ramón y Cajal and members of the Spanish Neurological School.

Political career[edit]

From 1928, Marie left the medical academy to become a political journalist, first at physical-culturist magazine La Culture Physique, where Edmond Desbonnet served as his intellectual patron. His writings largely centred around his recommendations of exercise and fitness regimes, and his commentary on government sports and leisure policy.

In 1930, he turned to explicitly political writing as he moved to the Socialist Party's daily newspaper, Le Populaire.[3] He became increasingly involved in the SFIO in the 1930s, gaining a reputation as the Party's foremost intellectual on matters of sports, leisure, and physical culture.[4] His 1934 pamphlet, "Pour Le Sport Ouvrier", was adopted by the SFIO's Congress as official Party policy.[5] This marked the first time the SFIO embraced physical culture explicitly. After the election of the French Popular Front in 1936, he worked in the ministerial cabinet of Léo Lagrange as a technical advisor, where he became a noted advocate of working-class sports and social hygiene within the French government. He is a rare figure to bridge the gap between French physical culturism and Socialism. After the fall of the Popular Front, Marie continued to write for Le Populaire.

Historians have disagreed about the date of Marie's death. While most medical sources place his death before Occupation,[6] noted historian Pascal Ory recently uncovered traces of Marie's writing in collaborationist newspapers Le Rouge et Le Bleu in support of the Vichy regime until 1941.[7] His collaborationism has led some historians to understand the influence of physical culture in the SFIO and the Vichy Regime as one path that led many Socialists - like Marie - to supporting Pétain.

Associated eponyms[edit]

Selected writings[edit]

Medical Writings:

  • Des formes frustes de la maladie de Basedow, doctoral thesis, Paris, 1883.
  • Sur deux cas d’acromégalie, 1886.
  • Sur une form particulière d'atrophie musculaire progressive; souvent familiale, débutant par les pieds et les jambes et atteignant tard les mains, With Jean Martin Charcot. 1886
  • "Essays on Acromegaly", with bibliography and appendix of cases by other authors. London, 1891.
  • Leçons sur les maladies de la moëlle épinière, Paris, 1892. English translation by M. Lubbock as "Lectures on Diseases of the Spinal Cord", London, 1895.
  • Sur l'hérédo-ataxie cérébelleuse, Semaine médicale, Paris, 1893, 13: 444.
  • L’évolution du langage considéré au point de vue de l’étude de l’Aphasie, 1897.
  • Dysostose cléido-crânienne héréditaire, with Paul Sainton (1868–1958); 1897.
  • Spondylose rhizomélique, 1898.
  • Neurologie, two volumes; 1923.

Political Writings:

  • Force et Santé Pour Tous, ou Le Triomphe de La Culture Physique (1928)
  • Pour La Santé du Sédentaire (1931)
  • Pour Le Sport Ouvrier (1934)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Marie P. (1907). Presentation de malades atteints d’anarthrie par lesion de l’hemisphere gauche du cerveau. Bulletins et Memoires Societe Medicale des Hopitaux de Paris, 1: 158–160.
  2. ^ Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease Archived 2011-05-14 at the Wayback Machine @ Who Named It
  3. ^ Tumblety, Joan (2012). Remaking the Male Body: Masculinity and Physical Culture in Interwar and Vichy France. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 23–24. ISBN 978-0-19-969557-7.
  4. ^ Ory, Pascal (1994). La Belle Illusion: Culture et Politique sous le signe du Front Populaire. Paris: CNRS Éditions. p. 832. ISBN 978-2-271-08928-1.
  5. ^ Saint-Martin, Jean-Philippe (2000). Le Sport Français dans l'Entre-Deux Guerres. Paris: L'Harmattab. ISBN 2-7384-9799-3.
  6. ^ "Résultats de recherche — Medica — BIU Santé, Paris". www.biusante.parisdescartes.fr. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  7. ^ Ory, Pascal (1980). Les Collaborateurs : 1940-1945. Paris. p. 137.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)