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Professor Jean François Marie Aicardi (1926-2015)


We are deeply saddened to hear the passing of Professor Jean François Marie Aicardi in Paris. A world-renowned physician and child neurologist, Professor Aicardi had friends, students and patients from all over the world . A true giant of Paediatric Neurology, his passing is indeed a great loss to the world of child neurology and to the countless friends and colleagues all over the world. The International Child Neurology Association express it's deepest condolence on the demise of this truly inspirational Child Neurologist.

Jean François Marie Aicardi studied at the Paris Medical School and became an Interne des Hôpitaux de Paris in 1951. He trained at Hôpital de la Salpêtrière under Raymond Garcin (1897-1971)under Raymond Garcin (1897-1971)and at Hôspital des Enfants Malades in Paris under Stéphane Thieffry. He received his doctorate from the University of Paris in 1955 on convulsive disorders in the first year of life . From 1955-1956 as a research fellow at the Harvard Medical School and the Children's Hospital Medical Center in Bostn. On returning to Paris, Aicardi joined the Department of Infantile Surgery at the Hôpital des Enfants Malades as a Paediatrician, where he remained until 1964 while continuing his interest in child neurology. He then worked as an assistant to Thieffry from 1964 to 1979 in the Department of Child Neurology at the Hôpital Saint Vincent de Paul. In 1968 he joined the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM). He returned with his team to the Hôpital des Enfants Malades in 1979 to create and run a new unit of child neurology.

In 1970 Aicardi was invited to Oxford, England, by Ronald MacKeith (1908-1977) in order to participate in the first meeting of the European Study Group in Child Neurology, an exclusive group of The Spastics Society, an organisation that has played an important role in the development of child neurology in Europe. This group became the European Federation of Child Neurology Societies in 1973 and has branches in most European countries. Following his retirement in 1991, Jean Aicardi was appointed honorary professor of child neurology at the Institute of Child Health and honorary consultant at the Hospital for Sick Children, London. In March 1999 he became the founding editor of the journal Epileptic Disorders.

Aicardi was awarded the Cornelia de Lange Medallion from the Dutch Society of Child Neurology in 1985 and the Hower Award from the American Child Neurology Society in 1986. In 1995 he received the Epilepsy research Award from the American Epilepsy Society. Professor Aicardi is known throughout the world through his encyclopaedic text books and scientific works. He has authored more than 250 original papers which deals with childhood epilepsy, while many are devoted to brain malformations, progressive encephalopathies, and other aspects of child neurology.

Biography source: Aicardi, J. (2013). Jean Aicardi: my circuitous path to becoming a French child neurologist and epileptologist. Journal of Child Neurology, 28(3), 409–15. doi:10.1177/0883073812470212 J_Child_Neurol-2013-Aicardi-409-15_b640f.pdf

Also see:

Krägeloh-Mann I, Board of the Society of Neuropediatrics (2015) Prof. Jean François Marie Aicardi (1926-2015). Neuropediatrics ():. DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1566445 PMID: 26535874.

Stephenson J, Professor Jean Aicardi (1926-2015) https://www.childneurologysociety.org/about/in-memoriam/professor-jean-aicard

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