Beyond the name
Ever wondered how illnesses got their name? Sammy Radstone takes a look at the people who gave their name to medicine
- By: Sammy Radstone
George Huntington was born on 9 April 1850 in the drowsy secluded village of East Hampton, CT, United States. Both his father and grandfather were doctors, and George Huntington junior followed in their footsteps. At an early age, Huntington accompanied his father on his rounds and sick calls and during one of these visits, he gained his first experience of hereditary chorea.
After graduating from Columbia University in 1871, Huntington returned to East Hampton for a few months to work with his father. Here, he saw more cases of hereditary chorea, which he had originally seen as a child. He took advantage of the notes on the disease taken by his father and grandfather and he diagnosed several more cases, incorporating it all into an essay.
On 15 February 1872, Huntington gave his classic presentation, On Chorea, aged only 22. His lecture was received with so much acclaim that he