Guillaume-Benjamin-Amand Duchenne was a French neurologist who revived Galvani's research and greatly advanced the science of electrophysiology. The era of modern neurology developed from Duchenne's understanding of neural pathways and his diagnostic innovations including deep tissue biopsy, nerve conduction tests, and clinical photography. This extraordinary range of activities was achieved against the background of a troubled personal life and a generally indifferent medical and scientific establishment.
Neurology did not exist in France before Duchenne and although many medical historians regard Jean-Martin Charcot as the father of the discipline, Charcot owed much to Duchenne, often acknowledging him as "mon maître en neurologie". The American neurologist Dr. Joseph Collins wrote that Duchenne found neurology, "a sprawling infant of unknown parentage which he succored to a lusty youth." His greatest contributions were made in the myopathies that came to immortalize his name, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne-Aran spinal muscular atrophy, Duchenne-Erb paralysis, Duchenne's disease, and Duchenne's paralysis.