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How do diseases get their names?

There has been a history in medicine to call diseases following the physician that first identified or published with that condition. Sometimes the doctor named the illness after themselves which could be regarded as somewhat egotistic and at other instances it was given a doctors name by their colleagues in acknowledgement of the success, which could be regarded as an honour. Just lately there's been a movement away from labeling disorders after people.

There are many reasons for this trend. These days research is almost certainly going to be carried out by groups rather than individuals working by themselves, therefore it is hard to credit a disease to only one person. From time to time in the past credit for a condition went towards the wrong person and the illness might have been described by someone else sooner than the one which receives the recognition.

An illness which is called after a physcian isn't going to refer to the particular pathology or the underlying biological components with the disease process which are generally a great deal more help. For example, it is relatively simple to know what disorders such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or whooping cough are simply based on the name. If these types of problems were called after people, it would convey absolutely nothing of the underpinning process. In several situations there might be multiple diseases called after the same individual or the same name. As an example, you can find 12 different illnesses named after the neurosurgeon, Cushing.

At times a condition that is named after a doctor has something about their past that it's not anymore correct to name the disease after them. As an example, there was Reiter’s syndrome that was called after Dr Hans Reiter who was consequently found guilty of war crimes for his medical experiments performed in a Nazi concentration prison. The condition which was known as Reiter’s syndrome is now more frequently named Reactive arthritis. Similarly, Wegener’s Granulomatosis was named for Friedrich Wegener who was a Nazi physician. The name for the disease has become more commonly known as granulomatosis with polyangiitis as soon as Dr Wegener's Nazi connections were made public.

One more example is Severs disease which is a painful disorder in the calcaneus bone in youngsters that is self-limiting. It was first written about by Dr James Severs back in 1912. It is not a disease, but the use of this language is possibly damaging to children. It's probably more appropriately termed calcaneal apophysitis since the heel bone is actually referred to as the calcaneus and the pathology is an irritation with the apophysis (or growth area).

The WHO has now produced recommendations for the naming of new illnesses by having an focus on a best process not to identify disorders after physicians or geographical areas in order to reduce the impacts on those people as well as the regions as well as their economies and also to avoid stigmatization of people and parts. The ideal practices suggests that a disease term ought to contain a generic descriptive name which might be based on the signs and symptoms the condition results in plus more specific descriptive phrases after robust details are available on the way the illness presents or reacts.