Dr. Jan Corsellis - The Brain Man In 1963 when I met and photographed him, Dr Jan Corsellis was Consultant Pathologist at Runwell Hospital in Essex. Runwell was a long-stay mental hospital with a large population of institutionalised patients with neuropsychiatric conditions. At that time very little was known about the causes of mental diseases and many patients had been in hospital for years. When a patient died, a post mortem was almost always carried out for diagnostic reasons. The original brains in the collection were examined by Dr Corsellis as an integral part of the post mortem. Instead of disposing of the brains after he had examined them, Dr Corsellis retained those that were of diagnostic interest. Jan Corsellis, started working at Runwell Hospital, a psychiatric unit near Wickford, Essex, in the late 1940s and died in the mid 1990s. He made a huge collection of brains - 8,000 in all..... .....When I photographed him in the early sixties, I had no idea that just over a decade later I would spend time working at Runwell as part of a third year project for my BSc(Hons) degree. I conducted research into the effects of ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) – then widely used for the treatment of severe depression – on memory.

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