What makes Maurice Ravel's deadly craniotomy interesting? Concerns of one of the most famous craniotomies in history

Kanat A., kayacı s., YAZAR U., Yılmaz A.

ACTA NEUROCHIRURGICA, vol.152, no.4, pp.737-742, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 152 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00701-009-0507-y
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.737-742
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: No


Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), the great impressionist-classicist composer of many popular compositions, such as the Bol,ro, suffered from a progressive disease and died following an exploratory craniotomy by Clovis Vincent. The history of his progressive dementia and the contribution of a car accident, following which he was unable to function, have received a certain amount of interest in the neurological literature previously, but his deadly craniotomy was not evaluated from a neurosurgery perspective. The car accident in 1932, with the probable consequence of a mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury, could be the key event in his life, triggering the loss of his ability to compose. It is clear that he never recovered from his injury and within a year he became completely unable to function. His dementia progressed dramatically. This event needs to be kept in mind. In 1937, Ravel died after the craniotomy performed by Vincent, but only a speculative, retrospective diagnosis is possible since an autopsy was not undertaken.