[pubmed] Henry R. Viets, MD, and the history of myasthenia gravis

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[pubmed] Henry R. Viets, MD, and the history of myasthenia gravis

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Neurology. 2020 Nov 20:10.1212/WNL.0000000000011239. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000011239. Online ahead of print.


Henry R. Viets (1890-1969) was both a noted neurologist and medical historian. While at Harvard Medical School, from which he graduated in 1916, he attracted the attention of Harvey Cushing who directed Viets into these disciplines. Cushing arranged for Viets to take a fellowship in Oxford in the year after his graduation. With Cushing's recommendation, he lived with Sir William and Lady Osler and did research with the famous neurologist Sir Charles Sherrington. Viets was in London in 1935 when he heard about the remarkable success of Mary Walker in treating myasthenia gravis, first with physostigmine and then with neostigmine (Prostigmin). Securing an ampoule of this drug, he took it to the Massachusetts General Hospital where he was an attending neurologist and in March 1935 injected it into a myasthenic patient with great success. He established the first Myasthenia Gravis Clinic in the world and was a pioneer in the treatment of this once obscure disease: he evaluated hundreds of patients and published many articles on myasthenia. He continued this association for over 30 years. Under the tutelage of Cushing and Osler, Viets became a medical historian and bibliophile, publishing hundreds of articles and several books on many different subjects in the history of medicine. He was the President of the American Association for the History of Medicine and curator of the Boston Medical Library that eventually joined with the Harvard Medical School Library. Viets served on the Editorial Board of the New England Journal of Medicine for 40 years.

PMID:33219137 | DOI:10.1212/WNL.0000000000011239

Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3321913 ... 0&v=2.13.0
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