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Abstract Details

André Strohl: Why Was his Name Omitted from Guillain-Barré Syndrome’s Eponym?
History of Neurology
S22 - History of Neurology (3:54 PM-4:06 PM)

In 1916, Georges Guillain, Jean-Alexandre Barré and André Strohl described two soldiers with tingling and progressive ascending weakness, abolished reflexes with electrical inexcitability, and CSF hyperalbuminosis without cellular reaction. Jean-Baptiste Octave Landry probably described the disease in 1859 but this was the first description of the key diagnostic feature of albuminocytological dissociation.

To highlight the historical contribution of André Strohl to the description of Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

Review of publications concerned with the history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome and the life of André Strohl.

André Strohl was born 1887 in Poitiers, France. He received his medical degree from the University of Paris in 1913 and he served as a radiologist in World War I where he met Guillain and Barré. He contributed to the study of reflexes and nerve conduction studies of the two patients described in the seminal paper he authored with them. Several theories have been proposed about his name’s omission from subsequent publications including: 1. His contribution was limited to the electrodiagnostic studies and didn’t involve the description of clinical syndrome or CSF analysis. 2. He lost touch with Guillain and Barré who continued to work together and co-authored many papers in the 1920s. 3. He had broad medical interests including physiology and radiology in addition to neurology which could have affected his credibility amongst neurologist at that time. 4. His youth. He was 29-year-old at the time of the publication and had been practicing medicine for just three years. 5. His parents were from Alsace. None of these theories were proven. Strohl passed away in 1977 and his obituary notice refers to the syndrome of “Guillain, Strohl and Barré”.

The use of eponyms is common in Neurology. The omission of Strohl’s name from “Guillain-Barré Syndrome” highlights the lack of histroical accuracy and questions the fairness of eponymous nomenclature.

Ahmed Abbas (SIU Neuroscience Center)
Dr. Abbas has nothing to disclose.
Faisal Ibrahim (Cleveland Clinic Foundation) Dr. Ibrahim has nothing to disclose.