September 1967

Huntington's Chorea

Author Affiliations

Durham, NC
From the divisions of neurology and neurosurgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

Arch Neurol. 1967;17(3):331. doi:10.1001/archneur.1967.00470270109013

Advances in neurology have not been made only by the laboriously documented treatises of academicians. George Huntington was a general practitioner from East Hampton, Long Island, who was 22 years old when he described hereditary chorea. The description was made possible by the fact that Huntington, his father, and his grandfather had practiced medicine in the same town and had observed several generations of afflicted families. Huntington's report is written in a vivid, personal style and is eminently readable. William Osler said of this paper: "In the history of medicine there are few instances in which a disease has been more accurately, more graphically, or more briefly described."1 The unpretentiousness of Huntington's article is matched by the modesty shown in later years when he referred to its acclaim as an "unsought, unlooked for honor."2

Despite its brevity, little has been added to Huntington's original description. The trait

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