Driving Mr. Albert to Philadelphia and beyond

| March 29, 2012

One of my all-time heroes as a child was Albert Einstein.  Regarded as one of the greatest minds of the 20th century if not civilization itself, he had an incredible personal story, professional triumphs and personal tragedies.  I used a quote of his to begin my essay for medical school: "“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.

There are dozens of other great quotes attributed to him, including "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them" or "Logic will get you from A to B.  Imagination will take you everywhere".

Perhaps my favorite one is attributed to Einstein while helping a group of school-aged children with their math studies: "Do not worry about your difficulties with mathematicss; I can assure you mine are much worse".

Over 10 years ago a book was published entitled Driving Mr. Albert written in first person with someone who drove across America with Einstein's brain and the pathologist who for years had kept it in formalin. In addition for the trip, he talks about the problems associated with keeping wet tissue and the pathologists' problems, issues, paranoias and difficulties for doing so for decades.

Death_headlineEinstein died in 1955 at Princeton University due to a ruptured aortic aneurysm.  At the time he became ill he was offered surgery by a Dr. Nissen (I gather of Nissen fundoplication) to repair the aneurysm.  He refused.  The treatment offered to him at that time was a vascular graft, still experimental at the time, but an improvement over the standard therapy in early studies.  The other treatment was wrapping the aneurysm in saran wrap.  Grafts are standard of care today unless interventional radiology does it less invasively today by other means.

Anyways, looks like a trip to Britain is order as sections of the much talked about brain of Einstein will be on public display, news to me thanks to The Pathology Blawg.  Read more here.


Category: Pathology News

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