As of '87, he's Proteus Man.
Neurofibromatosis, the genetic disorderthat has come to be known as Elephant Man disease (SN: 6/6/87, p.359), was probably not the cause of the Elephant Man's deformities. That is the conclusion of a National Institutes of Health panel, which last week released its final report on the incurable disease. The report doesn't address directly the case of Joseph Merrick--the 19th-century "Elephant Man' who later became the subject of a popular movie and play. But according to panel chairman David A. Stumpf, it was the group's consensus that Merrick actually suffered from an extremely rare disease known as the Proteus syndrome. The updated diagnosis is of more than historical interest, as it may help to free neurofibromatosis victims from the fear of the severe deformation that is more properly associated with the Proteus syndrome. The experts recommend areas for further research, and one panelist predicts that the neurofibromatosis-causing gene will be definitively identified in the next year or two--a critical step in the development of a treatment or cure.
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|Title Annotation:||Elephant Man found to have suffered from Proteus syndrome|
|Date:||Jul 25, 1987|
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