Nikolaus Friedreich

Nikolaus Friedreich (1825-1882)

Nikolaus Friedreich (1825-1882) was a German neurologist and pathologist.

Friedreich described his eponymous ataxia in a series of papers between 1863 and 1877. He recorded nine members of three families who developed ataxia, dysarthria, sensory loss, muscle weakness, scoliosis, foot deformity, and cardiac symptoms at puberty


Biography
  • Born 1 July 1825, Würzburg
  • Died 6 July 1882, Heidelberg

Medical Eponyms
  • Friedreich-Auerbach disease (1863) facial hemi-hypertrophy
  • Friedreich’s ataxia (1877)
  • Friedreich’s disease (1881) sudden brief clonic jerks may be aggravated by excitement and disappear during sleep. Usually affecting single proximal muscle group of the extremities.
  • Friedreich’s sound change (1880) lower pitch of percussion note over cavitating lung lesion during inspiration
  • Friedreich sign – in the presence of a pericardial effusion the sudden collapse of distended neck veins with diastole suggests pericardial tamponade
  • Friedrich-Erb-Arnold syndrome [aka Uehlinger syndrome; Pachydermoperiostosis or primary hypertropic osteoarthropathy] Characterized by pachydermia (thickening of the facial skin and/or scalp); digital clubbing; and periostosis (swelling of periarticular tissue)

Key Medical Attributions

Fun Facts

Medical lineage:

  • His father was Johann Baptist Friedreich (1796–1862) an eminent psychiatrist and member of the ‘somatic school’ of psychiatry in Germany.
  • His grandfather was Nicolaus Anton Friedreich (1761-1836) whose description of idiopathic facial paralysis ‘De paralysi musculorum faciei rheumatici 1797‘ preceded Charles Bell

Major Publications

References
  • Koeppen AH. Nikolaus Friedreich and degenerative atrophy of the dorsal columns of the spinal cord. J Neurochem. 2013 Aug;126 Suppl 1:4-10 [PMC3721437]
  • Grimm T. [Nikolaus Friedreich, the first Heidelberg “neurologist”]. Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr. 2001 Aug;69 Suppl 1:S8-10. [PMID 11507658]
  • Mahmoudi Nezhad GS, Dalfardi B. Nikolaus Friedreich (1825-1882). J Neurol. 2014 Oct;261(10):2046-7. [PMID 24202788]
  • Schoenberg DG, Schoenberg BS. Eponym: Nikolaus Friedreich and ataxia: tabes or not tabes? South Med J. 1977 Jun;70(6):749. [PMID 327564]

eponymictionary CTA

eponym

the person behind the name

Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and informatics. Asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | vocortex |

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