Alzheimer’s disease, Cron’s disease, Down’s syndrome etc. These are the common names we often hear now and then. While most diseases tend to be given descriptive names – for example, polycystic renal disease, which is an illness affecting the kidneys (renal, from the Latin word for kidney, renes) caused by the growth of multiple (poly, a Greek combining form meaning “much, many”) cysts – some have been named after the doctor, or doctors, who first described them.
Although there has been some controversy over whether this naming convention should be maintained – oftentimes there are doubts over whether the named doctor is indeed the original discoverer of the disease, and unlike descriptive names, eponyms really say nothing at all about the disease – there are still quite a few diseases that are known by someone’s name.
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