Arnold Pick and Pick's Disease

Pick's disease: a form of dementia named after Arnold Pick

Arnold Pick

Arnold Pick was born of German-Jewish parents in a village called Velké Meziricí (Gros-Meseritsch) in Moravia in July 20, 1851. Pick was an modest,intelligent, principled and dignified man who initially studied medicine at Vienna.

In 1892, Arnold Pick described a man who had presented in life with progressive loss of speech and dementia. When the patient died his brain was found to be atrophied.

This shrinkage had been caused caused by brain cells dying in localized areas. This feature of localization is very different to Alzheimer's disease where the atrophy is more generalized.

In Pick's disease the frontal and temporal lobes are most affected. Swollen brain cells, known as Pick cells, together with the presence of abnormal staining within cells, Pick bodies, are the hallmark of this disease.

During his life Arnold Pick wrote more than 350 publications, many of them on apraxia and agrammatism. He also wrote a textbook on the pathology of the nervous system.

Arnold Pick besides being linked with Pick's disease is also associated with the following;

  • Pick's bodies. Pick's bodies are unusual protein deposits in brains of people with Pick's disease.
  • Pick's disease or syndrome II, a historical term for optical delusions in disease processes in the area of the base of the 4th ventricle.
  • Pick's pyramidal bundle, fasciculus pyramidalis aberrans.
  • Kahler-Pick law. This law states that the posterior nerve roots enter the posterior columns so that fibres at higher levels displace those from lower levels medially.

Arnold Pick died aged 73 yrs of septicemia in 1924 following a bladderstone-operation.

Continue Reading