Landau, William M.

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Landau, William M.

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William M. Landau was born just a few blocks from Washington University in 1924. He started college at the University of Chicago in 1941, but the United States' entry into World War II accelerated his college career, and after just two years, he returned to St. Louis to begin medical studies at Washington University School of Medicine. He was 18. Landau completed medical school in 1947 and joined the neurology faculty in 1954. He was named professor emeritus 58 years later and continued conducting research into his 90s.

Landau was a professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis from 1954 to 2012 and served as head of the Department of Neurology from 1970 to 1991. He was the longest-serving faculty member at the School of Medicine. Landau specialized in movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, but his interests ranged widely. With Frank Kleffner, PhD, of the Central Institute of the Deaf, he identified and described Landau-Kleffner syndrome, a rare disorder in which children lose the ability to speak and respond to language. He also studied how patients fared who were revived with CPR after their hearts had stopped beating, and concluded that the risk of severe, debilitating brain damage was underappreciated. He advocated for more limited use of the procedure.


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Creation: December 17, 2019 10:20 AM


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  1. Dr. William Landau, former chief neurologist at Washington University, dies at 93, by Blythe Bernhard Nov 2, 2017 St. Louis Post-Dispatch, URI:
  2. LC Name Authority File (LCNAF), Personal Name n97803648: preferred name: Landau, William M. (Sources
    found: Clinical neuromythology and other arguments and essays, pertinent and impertinent, 1998:CIP t.p. (William M. Landau, MD; prof. of neurology, neurologist, Barnes Hosp., Washington Univ. Sch. of Med. at Wash. Univ. Med. Center, St. Louis, Mo.); found: St. Louis post-dispatch WWW site, viewed Nov. 3, 2017(Dr. William Landau, former chief of neurology at Washington University; died Thursday (Nov. 2, 2017), of naturalat his home in University City; he was 93; led the neurology department from 1970 to 1991)
    ) URI(s):

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