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July 1960

Neurological Eponyms

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Neurology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Neurological Institute, Presbyterian Hospital.

Arch Neurol. 1960;3(1):91-97. doi:10.1001/archneur.1960.00450010091008

The extensive use of eponyms is a hallmark in neurology, often making neurology appear overly complex and cabalistic. Since this habit is frequently decried by physicians both in and out of neurology, the seemingly pointless task of collecting neurological eponyms was undertaken in order that some estimate of the size and value of this habit could be made. Only eponyms pertinent to clinical neurology are considered. Eponyms used in gross or microscopic neuroanatomy and neuropathology are not included; they are legion and seldom of use clinically.

More than 450 neurological eponyms were culled from neurological monographs, texts, and articles.1-17 All of them have been found in print. They fall into four major categories: diseases, syndromes, signs, and reflexes. Although it is arbitrary as to which category some eponyms belong, they divide equally (Table 1). Large clusters of eponyms gather about certain subjects. The largest clusters center about the syndromes

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