Rolf Hassler

Rolf Hassler (1914-1984) was a German pathologist who made important discoveries on the pathophisiology and treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD).[1]

In 1938 he published the autopsies of PD patients that showed while the striatum and globus pallidus were mostly unaffected and the main affected structure was the substantia nigra pars compacta; it lost many neurons and also held abundant Lewy bodies. Such findings confirmed Konstantin Tretiakoff's theories, who in 1919 had reported that the substantia nigra was the main cerebral structure affected.[1]

Hassler later was the director of the Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung at Frankfurt am Main where he continued his studies on PD, becoming a pioneer in surgery for tremors.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 Parent M, Parent A (May 2010). "Substantia nigra and Parkinson's disease: a brief history of their long and intimate relationship". Can J Neurol Sci. 37 (3): 313–9. PMID 20481265.
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