- Famous for noting the association of an intact accommodation reflex with absent light reflex in certain spinal disease, later attributed to tertiary syphilis.
- Promoting the extract of Calabar Bean, containing physostigmine (eserin), as a new drug particularly for glaucoma treatment.
- Born 1837 Edinburgh, Scotland
- 1857 – Graduated medicine, St. Andrews University. Licenciate of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.
- 1858 – Prague under von Arlt; Berlin, Albrecht von Graefe
- 1866 – Edinburgh Royal Infirmary
- 1886 – President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
- 1893 – President of the Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom (first ‘non-London‘ President
- Honorary surgeon–oculist to Queen Victoria and to King Edward VII
- Died 3 January 1909 on vacation in Gonday, India – cremated on the bank of the river Gondli
Key Medical Attributions:
- Argyll Robertson showed the antagonistic property of the Calabar bean (Physostigma venenosum) to atropine; later to become first effective medication to treat glaucoma.
- Robertson DA. The progress of ophthalmology; a sketch. 1862.
- Robertson DA. The calabar bean as a new agent in ophthalmic medicine. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd. 1863. Note: Calabar Bean (Physostigma venenosum)
- Robertson DA. On an interesting series of eye symptoms in a case of spinal disease, with remarks on the action of belladonna on the iris. Edin Med J. 1869;14:696–708
- Robertson DA. Four cases of spinal myosis: with remarks on the action of light on the pupil. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd. 1869
- Robertson DA. Practical suggestions as to medical study; at the opening of the Medical School, Edinburgh. 1869
- Robertson DA. An address on the therapeutic contributions of ophthalmology to general medicine. Br Med J 1893; 2:941–943 [PMC2422377]
- Obituary: Douglas Argyll Robertson. Br Med J 1909;1:191
- Thoburn AL. Douglas Argyll Robertson, 1837-1909 Discoverer of the pupillary syndrome. Br J Vener Dis. 1977 Aug; 53(4): 244–246. [PMC1045407]
- Grzybowski A, Sak J. Douglas Moray Cooper Lamb Argyll Robertson (1837–1909). J Neurol. 2016; 263: 838–840. [PMC4826659]
- Grzybowski A, Plant GT. A tribute to Douglas Argyll Robertson in the centenary of his death: his achievements, the influence of his father and his ‘pupil’ today. Neuro-Ophthalmology 2009; 33:308–312
LITFL Related Links
- Biographical Medical Eponyms – A-Z of eponymous medical pioneers
- Eponymictionary – Searchable Eponymictionary Database
- Medical Eponyms – A-Z of signs, syndromes, diseases and classifications
- Orthopaedic Eponyms – Eponymous orthopedic fractures and classifications
- Cardiac Eponyms – Eponymous cardiology collection