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JOURNAL ARTICLE

The menagerie of neurology: Animal signs and the refinement of clinical acumen

Shin C Beh, Teresa Frohman, Elliot M Frohman
Neurology. Clinical Practice 2014, 4 (3): e1-e9
29473555
Neurology is a field known for "eponymophilia." While eponym use has been a controversial issue in medicine, animal-related metaphoric descriptions continue to flourish in neurologic practice, particularly with the advent of neuroimaging. To provide practicing and trainee neurologists with a useful reference for all these colorful eponyms, we performed a literature review and summarized the various animal eponyms in the practice of neurology (and their etiologic implications) to date. We believe that the ability to recognize animal-like attributes in clinical neurology and neuroradiology may be attributed to a visual phenomenon known as pareidolia. We propose that animal eponyms are a useful method of recognizing clinical and radiologic patterns that aid in the diagnostic process and therefore are effective aidesmémoire and communicative tools that enliven and improve the practice of neurology.

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