Historical Perspective: The Neurotrophic Theory of Skin Ulceration

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Though nearly forgotten, the neurotrophic theory was very much a part of mainstream medical thinking during the mid‐nineteenth century. This theory stated that all bodily organs are maintained by special nutritional factors secreted by the central nervous system. Development of skin ulceration in the face of neurologic injury became a model for the theory, and controversy involved two great neurologists of the time, Jean Martin Charcot and Edouard Brown‐Séquard. As the neurotrophic theory fell into disfavor, interest in decubitus ulcers waned as well. Today, pressure sores remain a major epidemiologic problem for the growing population of frail elderly persons in both acute and long‐term care settings. Because of the increased mortality, morbidity, and cost associated with these lesions, attention needs to be refocused on research and education concerning the decubitus ulcer. 1992 The American Geriatrics Society

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1281-1283
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1992
Externally publishedYes


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