Eldon L. Foltz, MD, FAANS(L), FACS
ELDON L. FOLTZ was born in Fort Collins, Colorado, March 28, 1919. He grew up in East Lansing, Michigan where his father was Professor of Electrical Engineering at Michigan State University. He graduated from Michigan State University in 1941 (B.S., Magna Cum Laude), and then University of Michigan Medical School in 1943 (M.D.) on a combined scholar program with Michigan State.
After graduation from medical school and surgical internship at the University of Michigan, he served in the U.S. Navy Corps in the South Pacific theater for 30 months on active duty, including Iwo Jima and Okinawa. After one year of general surgery residency at the University of Michigan, he became a graduate student in neuroanatomy and neuropathology. Neurosurgery residency at Dartmouth Medical School with Henry Heyl followed by completion of the residency at the University of Louisville under Dr. Glen Spurling in 1950.
He became a post-doctoral fellow in NIMH to study the limbic system and developed selective frontal leuotomy cingulotomy at the University of Washington, Seattle, with Dr. Arthur Ward.
His first laboratory research project concerned "coma of head injury" studied in monkeys with electrodes implanted in the reticular system as well as cortical electrodes, using evoked responses to clearly show a selective depression of electrical activity in the reticular formation by the cerebral concussion with minimal effect on primary ascending sensory pathways. This effect was in part reversed by atropine therapy.
"Psychosomatic disease states in monkeys and the limbic system" was an extensive laboratory investigation of chaired "executive" monkeys, trained to conditioned avoidance and "conditioned stress," who were monitored as to agitate states by the degree of lever pulling and the effect on intestinal motility (direct contraction measurements). This protracted study clearly showed that cingulotomy reduced the agitated responses, modifying lever pulling to an efficient level and reducing the increased gut motility associated.
He was awarded a John R. and Mary Markle scholarship in Medical Science from 1954-1959 at the University of Washington secondary to his coma and cingulum studies. This carried him into a full commitment to academic neurosurgery. He became a full Professor in Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington in 1965.
Pediatric neurosurgery and hydrocephalus became an intense interest while in charge of the pediatric neurosurgical service at Childrens Hospital, Seattle. Controlled studies of shunting early in its use for hydrocephalus were carried out with the Congenital Defects Clinic. Hydrocephalus ICP studies indicated strange and unusual alterations of the CSF pulse. This became an experimental clinical research project for the rest of his career.
In 1969, he accepted Professorship/Chairman of Neurosurgery at the University of California, Irving. He began experimental work in hydrocephalus with emphasis on CSF molecular transport studies in dogs and cats. Twenty neurosurgeons have been trained in this Program. The Program has been modified from time to time to meet requirements at University of California-Irvine
He has held offices in the Western Neurosurgical Society, Society of Neurological Surgeons, Neurosurgical Society of America and Society of Neurological Surgeons of Orange County. In 1989, he became Emeritus Professor of Neurological Surgery.
On the day following graduation from Medical School, he married Katherine Crosby, a microbiologist at the University of Michigan, in 1943. They had five children: Sally, Jim, Janice, Suzanne and Patty. They live at the family home located in Laguna Beach, California.
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