- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Friedreich's disease I

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A hereditary disease with onset usually in adult life, characterised by sudden, brief muscle contractions affecting single muscle part, entire muscle, or muscle group, mainly the proximal muscles of the extremities. The clonic jerks may be aggravated by excitement and disappear during sleep. The condition may be sporadic or inherited as a dominant inheritable trait. It is more a symptom than a syndrome.

First observed by the American neurologist and sanitary general, William Alexander Hammond (1828-1900), later described as a disease entity by Friedreich in 1881.


  • N. Friedreich:
    Paramyoclonus multiplex.
    [Virchows] Archiv für pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für klinische Medicin, Berlin, 1881; 86: 421-430.

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