(1869-1939) US neurologist who pioneered neurosurgery. He developed a range of techniques for the surgical treatment of brain tumors, and also studied the link between the pituitary gland and conditions such as dwarfism. He first described the chronic wasting disease now known as Cushing’s syndrome.
Cushing was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He studied medicine at Yale and Harvard, and later in Switzerland and the UK. From 1912 to 1932 he was professor of surgery at the Harvard Medical School; in 1933 he became professor of neurology at Yale.
As a result of experimenting on the effect of artificially increasing intercranial pressure in animals, Cushing developed new methods of controlling blood pressure and bleeding during surgery on human beings.
Cushing wrote a description of the stages in the development of different types of intercranial tumors, classified such tumors, and published a definitive account of acoustic nerve tumors 1917.
In 1908 Cushing began studying the pituitary gland and, after experimenting on animals, discovered a way of gaining access to this gland surgically. As a result of this discovery it became possible to treat cases of blindness caused by tumors in that region.