Paul Julius Möbius

Paul Julius Möbius (1853 – 1907)

Paul Julius Möbius (1853 – 1907) was a German neurologist.

Möbius specialised in neuroanatomy and neurological disorders but published on a wide variety of topics including thyroid dysfunction, gender determination and the inheritance of mental attributes

Through his studies of dysfunction and paralysis of the eye muscles, and in particular Morbus Basedow (Graves disease), he established increased activity of the thyroid gland as the cause of the disease and weakness of convergence, the so-called Möbius sign, as a diagnostic test


  • Born 24 January 1853 Leipzig
  • 1883 – Habilitated in Neurology
  • Died 8 January 1907 Leipzig

Medical Eponyms

  • Möbius disease (1884) (ophthalmoplegic migraine) – paralysis of the oculomotor nerve usually associated with migrainous headache and facial palsy lasting 3-5 days. Caused by compression of the third cranial nerve by the posterior cerebral and superior cerebral arteries. Most commonly occurs in young adults.
  • Möbius syndrome (1888) (congenital facial diplegia syndrome) – Rare congenital condition characterised by the absence or underdevelopment of the abducens (VI) and facial nerve (VII) nuclei.
  • Möbius sign (1894) – weakness of eye convergence in hyperthyroidism; a situation when one eye converges and the other diverges when looking at the tip of one’s nose.


  • Möbius – frequently anglicized to Moebius

Major Publications


  • Steinberg H. Paul Julius Möbius (1853-1907). J Neurol. 2005 May;252(5):624-5. [PMID 15895276]
  • Theopold W. Paul Julius Möbius (1853-1907). Medizinhist J. 1983;18(1-2):100-17. [PMID 11611217]
  • Schobess C, Steinberg H. [Paul Julius Möbius–a pacemaker in the history of neuroophthalmology]. Klin Monbl Augenheilkd. 2014 May;231(5):543-7 [PMID 24715412]

eponymictionary CTA 2


the person behind the name

Posted by Dr Mike Cadogan

Emergency physician with a passion for medical informatics and medical education/textbooks. Asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist | @sandnsurf | + Mike Cadogan | LinkedIn

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