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Harvey Williams Cushing

Cushing, Harvey Williams, 1869–1939, American neurosurgeon, b. Cleveland, B.A. Yale, 1891, M.D. Harvard, 1895. Associated with Johns Hopkins (1896–1912), Harvard (1912–32), and Yale (1933–37), he was noted for his great contributions to brain surgery and also as a teacher and an author. For his life of Sir William Osler he won the 1925 Pulitzer Prize in Biography. Among his other works are a famous treatise on the pituitary body, as well as Tumors of the Nervus Acusticus (1917), Intracranial Tumours (1932), and the autobiographical From a Surgeon's Journal, 1915–1918 (1936).

See biographies by J. F. Fulton (1946) and E. H. Thomson (1950).

Cushing's disease was first described by him. It is a disorder attributed to hyperactivity of the cortex of the adrenal glands and affects women more than men. The symptoms include obesity (moonface, an accumulation of fat at the back of the neck called buffalo hump, and abdominal protrusion), hypertension, hirsutism, and easy bruisability. Treatment is by X-ray therapy if the pituitary body is involved or by surgical removal of one or both adrenal glands.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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