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Jules Froment

Jules Froment was Professor of Medicine at Lyons, and devoted his life to neurology, combining diligent observation, a philosophical approach and debating skill.

Graduating in 1906 with a thesis on disease of the heart in thyrotoxicosis, he remained at Lyons until the Great War. After a year at the front, he joined a nerve injuries unit at Rennes, and later was at Paris with Babinski. During this time he evolved a series of tests for nerve dysfunction, the best known being his sign of ulnar nerve weakness; another was loss of the hollow of the anatomical snuff box in radial nerve injury.

After the war he ran a Red Cross Hospital in Lyons, and the encephalitis epidemic of 1918-1922 provided another intellectual challenge. In 1926 he nearly died as a result of being severely injured by one of his patients.

Froment pointed out the difference between a pinch grip and grasping, both of which are impaired by a low ulnar nerve palsy due to weakness of adductor pollicis. He introduced the following test to show this. Today it is used to assess flexor pollicis brevis.

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