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March 6, 1967

The Shaking Palsy 1817-1967

Author Affiliations

Miami, Fla

JAMA. 1967;199(10):768. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120100130043

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To the Editor:—  The year 1967 will mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of James Parkinson's famous essay, "The Shaking Palsy," in which in vivid terms he fully documented the disease. This essay caught the attention of Charcot, who referred to patients with paralysis agitans as having "la maladie de Parkinson." Thus Charcot gave the name "Parkinson's disease."It was not until after the 1917 and 1918 epidemics of encephalitis that the syndrome of rigidity, tremor, oculogyric crises, and drooling assumed greater significance. Following this period, the journals were filled with articles on postencephalitic Parkinson's disease. The connection with encephalitis became so well entrenched that many neurologists believed that Parkinson's disease would disappear once the effects of the encephalitis epidemic were dissipated. Instead, in the subsequent decades, more and more cases were recognized. It became evident that there was a type of Parkinson's disease that was connected neither with