Charles Karsner Mills


Charles MillsCharles Karsner Mills was born on December 4, 1845 in East Falls, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. He married Elizabeth Peale on November 5, 1873. Mills came to be regarded in his time as: "the dean of American neurologists." He chaired the Department of Neurology at the Philadelphia Polyclinic Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania. Mills gave the first descriptions of unilateral ascending paralysis ("Mill's Disease") and unilateral descending paralysis. He served twice in the Civil War.

Mills followed the "diagram makers", in that he viewed the brain as consisting of isolated brain centers that were, nonetheless, associated with one another. His recommended therapy for aphasia consisted of phonetic drills moving eventually from sounds and sound groups to syllables, words and (Mills, 1904). He based his sound drill on Wyllie's "physiological alphabet", a precursor to the International Phonetic Alphabet. For practice materials, Mills used a phonetic reader, containing sentences with words from within a particular phoneme class (e.g., lingual palatal or lingual dental consonants).

Writings of Mills, arranged chronologically

Mills, Charles K. (1882). First lessons in physiology and hygiene: with special reference to alcohol, tobacco, and other narcotics. Philadelphia: Eldridge & Brother.

Mills, Charles K. (1895). The naming center. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 1011.

Mills, Charles K. (1898). The nervous system and its diseases; a practical treatise on neurology for the use of physicians and students. Philadelphia: Lippincott.

Mills, Charles, K. (1899). Anomia and paranomia with some considerations regarding a naming center in the temporal lobe. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 26, 757-758.

Mills, Charles K. & Weisenburg, Theodore H. (1903). The effects on the nervous system of electric currents of high potential, considered clinically and medico-legally. University of Pennsylvania Medical Bulletin.

Mills, Charles K. (1904). Treatment of aphasia by training. Journal of the American Medical Association, 43, 1940-1949.