Thomas Willis

Thomas Willis (1621–1675)

Thomas Willis (1621–1675) was an English physician.


Biography
  • Born 27 January 1621 Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire
  • Died 11 November 1675

Medical Eponyms
Willis-Ekbom disease (Witmaack-Ekbom syndrome; Restless leg syndrome)

Restless leg syndrome appears to be an enigmatic disorder probably influenced by heterogeneous environmental and genetic factors that may work through a variety of so far ill-defined neurochemical systems.

Thomas Willis records in his posthumous publication The London Practice of Physick (1685):

Wherefore to some, when being abed they betake themselves to sleep, presently in the arms and legs, leapings and contractions of the tendons, and so great a restlessness and tossing of their members ensue, that the diseased are no more able to sleep, than if they were in a place of the greatest torture

Willis: Of the Watching Evil 1685: 404-405 [PDF]

Circle of Willis

Thomas Willis was not the first to describe the arterial circle at the base of the brain, but was the first to provide a complete description; an illustration of this vascular pattern; and to indicate that he understood the probable function of the arterial circle. The illustration was drawn by Sir Christopher Wren, architect of St. Paul’s Cathedral.


Major Publications

References

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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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