John Michael Newsom-Davis

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 18 October 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:830
  1. Caroline Richmond

    Enabled the understanding and treatment of myasthenia gravis

    Some neurologists and neuroscientists have made outstanding contribution to basic science, and others to treatment. John Newsom-Davis did both, and his work is credited with transforming the lives of people with myasthenia gravis and related autoimmune brain diseases. He contributed to the discovery that myasthenia gravis was caused by antibodies and, with Anthony Pinching and Keith Peters, showed that plasmapheresis could produce a profound, though short lived, remission. He went on to develop effective treatment using immunosuppressive drugs.

    John Newsom-Davis was born in Harpenden. His father, managing director of the Davis gas cooker company, and mother, a surgeon's daughter, sent him to Sherborne School, which he didn't much enjoy. He followed this with national service, where he learnt to pilot Meteor fighter planes, which gave him great pleasure and pride. He was offered a place at Cambridge to read English and history but …

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