Mitchell was of Scottish origin but he was born in Philadelphia. His studies included a period with Claude Bernard in Paris. His experiences in the Civil War brought him to fame because his writings on nerve and related injuries became classics as did his description of causalgia with William Keen and G.R. Morehouse they created another great work on "Reflex Paralysis". Research and reporting on post paralytic chorea, erythromelalgia (Weir Mitchellís disease) and cerebellar function followed. In the early 80ís he turned all major activity into literature and wrote good short stories, essays, drama and verse. He is considered the most eminent American neurologist of his time.

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