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Charles Bell

Sir Charles Bell KH FRSE FRCSE MWS FRS (12 November 1774 – 28 April 1842) was a Scottish surgeon, anatomist, neurologist, artist, and philosophical theologian.

He is noted for discovering the difference between sensory nerves and motor nerves in the spinal cord.

A number of discoveries received his name:

Bell's (external respiratory) nerve: The long thoracic nerve.

Bell's palsy: a unilateral idiopathic paralysis of facial muscles due to a lesion of the facial nerve.

Bell's phenomenon: A normal defense mechanism—upward and outward movement of the eye which occurs when an individual closes their eyes forcibly. It can be appreciated clinically in a patient with paralysis of the orbicularis oculi (e.g. Guillain–Barré syndrome or Bell's palsy), as the eyelid remains elevated when the patient tries to close the eye.

Bell's spasm: Involuntary twitching of the facial muscles.

Bell-Magendie law or Bell's Law: States that the anterior branch of spinal nerve roots contain only motor fibers and the posterior roots contain only sensory fibers.