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Gonzalo Rodriguez Lafora

Born 1887
Died 1971

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Spanish neuropathologist, born July 25, 1887, Madrid; died 1971.

Biography of Gonzalo Rodriguez Lafora

Gonzalo Rodriguez Lafora studied in his native city of Madrid and finished his neuropathological training in the Nervenklinik in Munich, together with Alois Alzheimer (1864-1915). He received his doctorate in Madrid in 1908. He subsequently spent his internship in Madrid and 1910-1912 was histopathologist at the Government Hospital for the Insane in Washington. When he came to this hospital he took over from Nicholas Achucarro.

After returning to Madrid he was habilitated for neuropathology, becoming professor extraordinary in 1916, and subsequently headed the institute of brain physiology at the Instituta Cajal. In 1923 he lectured in Buenos Aires. Lafora studied under Santiago Ramon y Cajal (1852-1934) and worked with him in Madrid.

Lafora led small teams that played essential roles in a psychological approximation movement towards performance and efficiency in industries. Together with some of his students, Lafora worked to establish rehabilitation programs for disabled employees and personnel selection, among them the National Patronage for the Mentally Impaired, Institute for Professional Retraining for Injured Workers

Lafora was particularly interested in child psychopathology and mental hygiene, and in 1917 he published the book “Mentally abnormal children”. In 1925 he was co-founder of the journal Archivos de neurobiologia, psichologia, fisiologia, histologia, neurologia y psiquiatria, now titled Archivos de neurobiologia.

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