The Neurological Study Unit: "A Combined Attack on a Single Problem from Many Angles"

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In the 1920s, neurology was a fledgling discipline. Various attempts were made to establish programs relating to neurological care and research. One such initiative was the Neurological Study Unit (NSU) at the Yale School of Medicine. My aim is to chronicle the early years of the NSU (1924-40): the motivations for establishing the unit, its structure, its challenges, and its evolution. I have studied all documents related to the NSU at Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University Library. The NSU was heralded as a "combined attack on a single problem from many angles." It was slow to develop, however, and had a number of missing elements. While some of this may have been due to a lack of funds and the absence of a dedicated neurologist, it was also the result of a failure to conceptualize a neurological unit, the slow evolution-into-existence of a nascent and fledgling medical discipline, growing pains and frictions within the leadership, a university-based rather than a hospital-based model of operation, and turf wars between neurology and allied disciplines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-252
Number of pages20
JournalCanadian bulletin of medical history = Bulletin canadien d'histoire de la médecine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • Neurological Study Unit
  • Yale University
  • clinical care
  • histoire de la neurologie
  • history of neurology
  • neurological research
  • recherche neurologique
  • soins cliniques
  • twentieth century
  • unité d’étude neurologique
  • vingtième siècle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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