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George Huntington: the man behind the eponym.
  1. N Durbach,
  2. M R Hayden
  1. Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

    Abstract

    George Huntington first encountered patients with the disease subsequently given his name at the age of 8 while accompanying his father and grandfather on their medical rounds. In 1872, in his twenty-first year, he described this disease so accurately and succinctly that the disease was later named after him. We have explored, through contact with previously unpublished family records and documents, the personal factors which helped George Huntington to make this observation and also investigated why this remains his sole contribution to medical research. We show by documenting his precise examinations of nature that he had profound powers of observation. Furthermore his decision not to pursue medical research was based on a commitment to patient care and a belief that he could make a greater contribution through the practice of primary care medicine rather than the pursuit of research.

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