Explore this issue:April 2011
- Harper D. Online Etymology Dictionary. Available at: etymonline.com/index.php?search=stenosis&searchmode=none. Accessed March 24, 2011.
- OED Online. The Oxford English Dictionary website. Available at: oed.com:80/Entry/189805. Accessed March 3, 2011.
Parkinson disease: In his 1817 Essay on the Shaking Palsy, the British physician James Parkinson first described parkinsonism as a group of chronic disorders in which motor function progressively wanes due to the deterioration of neurons in the area of the brain. To date, the disease described by Parkinson, Parkinson disease, is the most common form of parkinsonism.
- Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica website. Available at: britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/444159/parkinsonism. Accessed March 24, 2011.
Alzheimer’s Disease: After creating a new laboratory for brain research at the Munich medical school, German neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer first described this disease during his infamous 1906 lecture. Alzheimer used a newly developed stain to identify plaque as well as previously undetected neurofibrillary tangles within the brain. The disease was named after Alzheimer by Emil Kraepelin, for whom Alzheimer worked as a research assistant.
- Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica website. Available at: britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/18223/Alzheimer-disease. Accessed February 24, 2011.
- Alzheimer’s Disease International. Alois Alzheimer. Alzheimer’s Disease International website. Available at: alz.co.uk/alzheimers/aa.html. Accessed March 24, 2011.
Cold: Despite the illness and disease that plagued the people of the Middle Ages, the use of the term “cold” to describe an inflammatory condition did not occur until the Renaissance. Writers like William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson were some of the first to use the word as we now understand it. The phrase “to catch a cold” developed closer to the 18th century, changing from its more literal interpretation—“to become chilled from exposure to cold”—to one describing the contraction of an illness.
- OED Online. The Old English Dictionary website. Available at: oed.com:80/Entry/36100. Accessed March 8, 2011.
- OED Online. The Old English Dictionary website. Available at: oed.com:80/Entry/28817. Accessed March 8, 2011.
Influenza: The Italian word “influenza,” meaning “epidemic,” derives from the word “influence,” referring to the influence of the stars (gods) or an occult influence. Used in Italian to describe diseases like scarlet fever (influenza di febbre scarlattina) since at least 1504, the term became anglicized in pronunciation in 1743 when la grippe spread from Italy to Europe. Shortly after, 18th-century writers began using the term figuratively to describe a mental or commercial epidemic.