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[Editorial] Parkinson’s disease: a complex disease revisited

In a book review in this week’s issue, Steven Rose describes the remarkable similarity of James Parkinson with The Lancet’s founder Thomas Wakley. Both were surgeons as well as public health advocates, political radicals and reformers, and prolific authors. Parkinson is now arguably best known for the disease his name has been given to. 200 years ago, he had already noted many of the characteristic symptoms, presentations, and features of this disorder. He described its progressive nature in six cases in An Essay on the Shaking Palsy with the aim that the medical profession take note.