William John Adie

William John Adie (1886 – 1935) was an Australian neurologist.

Best known for describing the tonically dilated pupil (Adie pupil) associated with absent deep tendon reflexes (Adie syndrome) and his description of narcolepsy


  • Born 31 October 1886 Geelong, Australia
  • 1932 – Co-founder of the Association of British Neurologists; first meeting 28 July at the house of Gordon Morgan Holmes
  • Died 17 March 1935

Medical Eponyms

Major Publications

  • Adie WJ. Pseudo-Argyll Robertson pupils with absent tendon reflexes. A benign disorder simulating tabes dorsalis. Br Med J. 1931 May 30;1(3673):928-30
  • Adie WJ. Argyll Robertson pupils true and false Br Med J. 1931 Jul 25;2(3681):136-8. [PMC2315730]
  • Adie WJ. Tonic pupils and absent tendon reflexes: a benign disorder sui generis; its complete and incomplete forms. Brain 1932;55:98–113
  • Adie WJ. Complete and incomplete forms of the benign disorder characterised by tonic pupils and absent tendon reflexes. Br J Ophthalmol. 1932 Aug; 16(8): 449–461. [PMC511452]
  • Adie WJ, Critchley M. Forced grapsing and groping. Brain 1927;50:142-70.
  • Adie WJ. Idiopathic narcolepsy: a disease sui generis: with remarks on the mechanism of sleep. Brain 1926;49:275–306.
  • Adie WJ, Wagstaffe WW. A note on a series of 656 cases of gunshot wound of the head, with a statistical consideration of the results obtained. Medical Research Committee Statistical Reports, no. 1. London: Stationery Office, 1918


  • Obituary: William John Adie. Br Med J. 1935 March 23;1(3872):624-5 [PMC2459954]
  • Obituary: William John Adie, M.D. Edin., F.R.C.P. Lond. Lancet 1935; 225:5821; 717.
  • Pearce JMS. William John Adie (1886–1935). J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2004; 75: 1111
  • Holmes GM. Partial iridoplegia associated with symptoms of other diseases of the nervous system. Trans ophthal Soc 1931;51:209–28.
  • Brody IA, Wilkins RH. Neurology classics VII – Adie’s Syndrome. Arch Neurol. 1968;18(6):710-715.
  • Siddiqui AA, Clarke JC, Grzybowski A. William John Adie: the man behind the syndrome. Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2014 Nov;42(8):778-84. [PMID 24533698]
  • Beighton G, Wiedemann HR. The Person Behind the Syndrome. Springer. 1997 pp 4-6

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the person behind the name

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

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