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March 1991

Arthur Conan Doyle, Joseph Bell, and Sherlock Holmes: A Neurologic Connection

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Electroencephalography (Dr Westmoreland) and the Medical Library (Mr Key), Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn.

Arch Neurol. 1991;48(3):325-329. doi:10.1001/archneur.1991.00530150097025

• Neurologists, like physicians in several other medical specialties, can lay claim to Sherlock Holmes as one of their own. This assertion is validated by the number of neurologic conditions, such as seizures, stroke, syncope, encephalopathies, and head trauma, that are mentioned in the stories and novels. In addition, the article reviews the powers of observation and the deductive approach utilized by Conan Doyle and Joseph Bell, the models for Sherlock Holmes, and how these skills can be applied to medical problems.

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