Bernhard von Gudden
|Bernhard von Gudden|
|Born||June 7, 1824|
Kleve, Kingdom of Prussia
|Died||June 13, 1886|
Lake Starnberg, German Empire
Johann Bernhard Aloys von Gudden was a German neuro-anatomist and psychiatrist. In 1848 he earned his doctorate from the University of Halle, and became an intern at Siegburg Asylum under Dr. Carl Jacobi. From 1851 until 1855 he worked as a psychiatrist under Christian Friedrich Wilhelm Roller at Illenau Asylum in Baden. From 1855 to 1869 he was superintendant of the Unterfränkische Landes-Irrenanstalt mental institution in Werneck. In 1869 he was appointed superintendent of the Burghölzli Hospital, as well as professor of psychiatry at the University of Zürich. In 1872 he was appointed Obermedicinalrath and superintendent of the Upper Bavarian Kreis-Irrenanstalt mental asylum, located in Munich. Shortly afterwards he became a professor of psychiatry at the University of Munich.
Gudden made many contributions in the field of neuroanatomy, especially in his work of mapping and describing the paths, connections, origins/termini and neuro-anatomical centers of cranial and optic nerve networks. The commissural fibers of the optic tract are called the commissure of Gudden in his honor, and he is credited for developing a specialized microtome for sectioning the brain for pathological study. Among his well-known students and assistants are Emil Kraepelin, Franz Nissl, Auguste-Henri Forel, Sigbert Josef Maria Ganser and Oskar Panizza.
As superintendent of asylums, Gudden advocated a no-restraint policy, humane treatment of the mentally ill, communal social interaction amongst patients, and a well-trained medical staff. These were considered innovative, if not revolutionary ideas concerning mental health treatment in the mid-19th century. Gudden was a respected psychiatrist in Germany and was appointed personal physician to King Louis II of Bavaria. On June 13, 1886, the king and Gudden were both found dead in the water near the shore of Lake Starnberg at 11:30 p.m., allegedly drowned, possibly murdered. To this day the details of their deaths remain a mystery.
After Gudden's death, his works were collected and edited by his son-in-law, psychiatrist Hubert von Grashey, and published in 1889 under the title Bernhard von Gudden’s Gesammelte und hinterlassene Abhandlungen.