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Who Discovered Polycystic Kidney Disease?

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Polycystic kidney disease was discovered by Richard Bright, a British medical researcher and physician. He is widely known for his research on various kind of pioneering works in the research of kidney diseases with Polycystic kidney disease being one of them. He was born on September 28th, 1789 in Bristol. His father was a wealthy merchant as well as a banker.

Richard BrightRichard Bright was born in 1789 and died in 1858, at the age of 69.

Richard Bright background

His father had an active interest in science which he shared with his son and influenced him to choose a career in medical science. He attended University of Edinburgh to study medicine and he also studied at Guy’s Hospital in London. The topic of his medical doctorate thesis was On Contagious Erysipelas. Along with medicine, he was also interested in naturalist studies, philosophy and economy.

Thomas Hodgkin and Thomas Addison

He served at the Guy’s Hospital in London, practicing, teaching and researching medicine. He collaborated with the another two, most prominent figures of British medicine at that time, Thomas Hodgkin and Thomas Addison. Together they conducted various research on kidney related diseases. They published numerous works and papers on these diseases, which later lead to the discovery of the treatment.

Bright’s disease

It was during this time that he discovered the cause and symptoms of polycystic kidney disease. The kidney disease is also known as Bright’s disease, which was named after him. For his various contribution in the field of medical science, he is widely regarded as the father of nephrology. Although he mostly lived in London, he did spent considerable amount of time in Hungary. In his honor, there is a large plaque placed in the Festetics Castle in Keszthely, which was his residence in Hungary. He died of a heart disease, on December 16th, 1858 in London.