Lisa Welander (1909 – 2001) was a Swedish neurologist.
Sweden’s first professor of neurology
In 1951 Welander described the inheritance, clinical manifestations, course, pathology, and electrodiagnostic studies of a disorder she termed Myopathia Distalis Tarda Hereditaria, now more commonly called Welander distal myopathy
Welander and Erik Klas Henrik Kugelberg (1913-1983) defined Hereditary motor neuropathy type 3 (Wohlfart-) Kugelberg-Welander syndrome: a slowly progressive degenerative disease affecting spinal more than bulbar motor nuclei with usual onset between the ages of 5 and 15 years
- Born 9 August 1909 in Södermanland, Sweden
- 1928 – Karolinska Institute, Stockholm
- 1951 – MD thesis: ‘Myopathia distalis tarda hereditaria: 249 examined cases in 72 pedigrees’
- 1952 – Lecturer in Neurology, Karolinska Institute
- 1953 – Lecturer in Neurology, Gothenburg
- 1964 – Professor of Neurology at Umeå University; head of the Department of Neurology at Umeå University Hospital. Continued in these roles until retirement in 1975
- Died 9 December 2001
Welander distal myopathy (1951) [Gowers-Welander syndrome; Gowers syndrome]
Welander investigated a group of patients from an area in Gästrikland in the 1940’s. The patients suffered from reduced muscle function in hands and feet. Welander described the disease and its mode of inheritance in her doctoral dissertation ‘Myopathia Distalis Tarda Hereditaria’ in 1951. The disorder had a late onset and the muscle histopathology was of myopathic type. The typical distribution of muscle wasting and weakness was distal but Lisa Welander also described atypical cases with proximal muscle weakness and in some cases a scapular raising phenomenon
Wohlfart-Kugelberg-Welander syndrome (1956) [Kugelberg–Welander disease]
Hereditary juvenile spinal muscular atrophy, characterised by slowly progressive muscular weakness, due to degeneration of anterior horn cells. Onset is between the ages of 2 and 17 years. Manifesting progressive symmetrical, mainly proximal weakness with fasciculations, ophthalmoplegia and eventually kyphoscoliosis, cardiomyopathy, and contractures, but with survival into middle age or later, and without sensory signs. Associated gene maps to chromosome 5 (5q11.2)
Kugelberg and Welander described a hereditary juvenile spinal muscular atrophy distinguished from Werdnig-Hoffman disease. They described 12 cases with onset of weakness from ages 2–17. Pedigrees showed a recessive heredity, the clinical findings were muscle atrophy predominantly in the thighs and flexors of the forearms and muscle biopsies showed neurogenic abnormalities. Original reports in 1949, 1952 and 1955
- Welander L. Hereditär handmuskelatrofi. Nordisk Medicin, 1945, 26: 1019.
- Welander L. Myopathia distalis tarda hereditaria; 249 examined cases in 72 pedigrees. Acta Medica Scandinavica. Supplementum. 1951; 265:1-124. [Welander distal myopathy]
- Welander L. Aussprache zu H. Becker: Zur Klinik der Myopathien. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Nervenheilkunde. 1955; 173: 480–481
- Kugelberg E, Welander L. Heredofamilial juvenile muscular atrophy simulating muscular dystrophy. AMA Arch Neurol Psychiatry. 1956;75(5):500-509.
- Welander L. Homozygous appearance of distal myopathy. Acta Genet Stat Med. 1957;7(2):321-325.
- Lisa Welander(1909-2001). Orion Pharma Neurologi. 2003; 16(1): 1
- Borg K, Joélius B. Lisa Welander and Eric Kugelberg–two Swedish myologists in the footsteps of Edward Meryon. The Edward Meryon lecture, the Meryon Society, Oxford 2003. Neuromuscul Disord. 2004;14(6):383-386
- Thomas E, Aziz-Donnelly A, Garcia-Santibanez R. Women in the History of Neuromuscular Medicine. Neuromuscular Disorders. 2019; 29: 698-703
- Bibliography. Welander, L. WorldCat Identities
- Gowers WR. A Lecture on Myopathy and a Distal Form. BMJ 1902; 2: 89–92.
- Wohlfart G. Zwei Fälle von Dystrophia musculorum progressiva mit fibrillären Zuckungen und atypischem Muskelbefund. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Nervenheilkunde, 1942; 153(5-6): 189-204.
- Kugelberg E. Electromyography in muscular dystrophies; differentiation between dystrophies and chronic lower motor neurone lesions. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1949;12(2):129-136.
- Preliminary report: Familial Neurogenic (Spinal?) Muscular Atrophy Simulating Ordinary Proximal Dystrophy. 12th Congress of Scandinavian Neurologists, Oslo, Sept. 12,1952
- Wohlfart G, Fex J, Eliasson S. Hereditary proximal spinal muscular atrophy: a clinical entity stimulating progressive myscular dystrophy. Acta Psychiatrica et Neurologica Scandinavica 1955; 30: 395-406.
- Borg K, Ahlberg G, Anvret M, Edström L. Welander distal myopathy–an overview. Neuromuscul Disord. 1998;8(2):115-118.
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