This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.
For those who find themselves puzzled from time to time by a curious disease in a strange patient or who, in reading medical reports, encounter some obscure eponymic reference or comment about some little-known syndrome, this book by Robert Durham serves a very useful purpose. There are a great many ways in which a syndrome or symptom complex gets a name. It may be named after the original describer. Sometimes it is simply descriptive, like the "phenobarbital sensitivity syndrome." Sometimes it deals with the structure of the body, like the "phrenic-recurrent laryngeal syndrome." Sometimes it is a fanciful deployment of words, like "turban tumor." Sometimes it describes what is done, as in the "night eating syndrome. Sometimes it has a calendar significance, as "erythema of the ninth day." Sometimes a syndrome describes what is not there, as in the "phantom limb syndrome." Perhaps, though, it is only a sign.
Bean WB. Encyclopedia of Medical Syndromes. JAMA. 1961;178(3):358. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040420098049