Ludwig Robert Muller (1870-1962) - A pioneer of autonomic nervous system research

Bernhard Neundörfer, Max J. Hilz

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Ludwig Robert Muller, MD, professor of internal medicine, born in 1870 in Augsburg, Bavaria, studied medicine from 1890 to 1893 in various European cities and specialized in pathology and bacteriology. In 1895, he joined A. Strumpell, one of Germany's outstanding internists and neurologists, in Erlangen, Germany. Henceforth, Muller focused on the autonomic nervous system. In his 1898 Habilitation, a thesis required to join the academic faculty, which he entitled Anatomy and pathology of the lower spinal cord, he presented studies on the autonomic innervation of the bladder and colon. Based on animal studies, he continued to publish essential findings on the autonomic innervation of heart, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract. Muller was the first to report afferent pathways from internal organs to the brain. His book The vegetative nervous system was first published in 1920. In 1931, he wrote the book Lebensnerven and Lebenstriebe (Life nerves and life instincts). Many of his papers dealt with the regulation of thirst, hunger and sleep. He was Chairman of Internal Medicine in Wurzburg, Germany, from 1914 to 1920, and also in Erlangen as Strumpell's successor from 1920 to 1936. The broad scope of Muller's publications makes him one of the important pioneers of autonomic nervous system research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Autonomic Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Autonomic nervous system research
  • Historical review
  • Innervation of internal organs
  • Ludwig Robert Muller


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