Ramsay's Disease

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The term "Ramsay's Disease", which refers to myalgic encephalomyelitis, was coined to honor Dr. A. Melvin Ramsay, the infectious disease specialist who worked on the 1955 epidemic at Free Royal Hospital, London. He is much respected for his diligent work that continued for 30 years after the initial outbreak. In his writings, he used the term myalgic encephalomyelitis (which was coined by other physicians) because he felt it most accurately described his clinical findings.

The field of medicine has a history of naming illnesses after a prominent physician who worked on the illness. This is especially true when the etiology at the time of discovery is unknown. Well-known examples include Alzheimer disease named for Dr. Alois Alzheimer,[1] Down syndrome named for Dr. John Langdon Down,[2] and Huntington's disease named for Dr. George Huntington.[3] However, this practice has fallen out of favor, and new clinical entities are more likely to be named after either the symptoms or cause of the disease.

"Ramsay's Disease" is the preferred term championed by renowned ME/CFS physician, Dr. Derek Enlander. He stated in a 2014 interview by Gabby Klein for Phoenix Rising:

“I’m not really interested in the semantics – I am much more interested in proper diagnosis and effective treatments. There is lively debate, and aspects of this are important, but at times it tends to overshadow issues that I consider more important. For all intents and purposes we could call this Ramsay’s Disease.” [4]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Alzheimer's Disease Fact Sheet". National Institute on Aging. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  2. "National Association for Down Syndrome | History of NADS". Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  3. mennitto, d. "About Huntington's Disease and Related Disorders at The Johns Hopkins Hospital". hopkinsmedicine.org. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  4. "Standing Up for Patients: An Interview with Dr. Derek Enlander". Phoenix Rising ME / CFS Forums. Retrieved February 18, 2020.