Pussep L.M.: initiator of neurosurgery in russia
(to the 125th anniversary of his birth)

Akimenko M.A., Shustin V.A.

(Bekhterev Research Psychoneurologic Institute)

The 125th anniversary of birth of L.M. Pussep, initiator of home neurosurgery, was celebrated on December 3, 2000. He was born in Kiev, where his farther Martyn, who was a shoemaker, migrated together with his family from Rakvere (Estonia).

After finishing gymnasium, L.M. Pussep entered the Imperial Medicomilitary Academy in 1834. He graduated from it with a first-class honors degree and began to work in the Clinic of Nervous and Mental Diseases, headed by V.M. Bekhterev. There L.M. Pussep gained neurosurgical experience and acquired good knowledge of anatomy, surgery and neurology. He became a head of the Clinic's neurosurgical department after participation in the Russian-Japanese war.

Organization of the Chair and Clinic of Neurosurgery in the Psychoneurologic Institute became an important landmark in Pussep's life. The Petrograd nervous-surgical (a synonym of neurosurgical, being more typical of that time) infirmary, named after Pirogov N.I., was deployed in a new building of the clinic during WWI. Pussep L.M. was its senior physician. The Nervous-Surgical Institute with 150 beds was organized on March1, 1918. It had three departments: nervous-surgical, palsy and epileptic. Later the Chair of Surgical Neuropathology of SIMK was attached to it (SIMK - the State Institute of Medical Knowledge, which was renamed into the Sanitary-Hygienic Institute and is called the Mechnikov Medical Academy now). The Institute, Chair and SIMK were headed by Pussep till 1920. Then he left for Estonia and was invited to the Tartu University. There L.M. Pussep was head of the Chair of Nervous Diseases and Neurosurgery since December 1920 and up to October 19, 1942, being a day of his death.

Pussep L.M. is an author of manuals on surgery of peripheral nerves, the spinal cord and brain.

The range of his scientific interests was extremely large and there is no doubt, that he was a pioneer in some fields. It concerns surgical treatment of epilepsy and syringomyelia, surgery of pain and spasticity, tumors of the trigeminal nerve, psychosurgery, some aspects of neurooncology. Besides he made the first attempts to use neurotransplantation in cerebral lesions.

We honor the memory Pussep L.M., who was the initiator of home neurosurgery and founder of our clinic.