Neurology and detective writing

Peter A Kempster, Andrew J Lees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOther

4 Citations (Scopus)


When searching for clues to reach a diagnosis, neurologists often empathise with the detective who is trying to solve a case. The premise of this article is that detective stories have been part of the fabric of neurology ever since the time that it evolved into a discrete medical speciality. We will examine how this form of narrative has found expression in detective mystery fiction and popular science publications created by 20th century neurologist physician-writers. We will also investigate the power of the neurologist s alter ego, Sherlock Holmes: his relationship to founders of clinical neuroscience such as Jean-Martin Charcot, William Gowers and Sigmund Freud, and his influences on neurological practice and its literary traditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372 - 376
Number of pages5
JournalPractical Neurology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Cite this