See J. T. Kenney, The Hitchcock Chair (1971).
(born Feb. 22, 1796, Ghent, Belg.—died Feb. 17, 1874, Brussels) Belgian statistician, sociologist, and astronomer. He is known for his application of statistics and the theory of probability to social phenomena. He collected and analyzed government statistics on crime, mortality, and other subjects and devised improvements in census taking. In Sur l'homme (1835) and L'Anthropométrie (1871) he developed the notion of the homme moyen, the statistically “average man.” A founder of quantitative social science, he was nonetheless widely criticized for the crudeness of his methodology.
Learn more about Quetelet, (Lambert) Adolphe (Jacques) with a free trial on Britannica.com.
While children and young adults may be affected, the disease is usually observed in middle aged and older individuals. The incidence of the disease is difficult to determine due to its low frequency.
It is usually associated with auto-immune self antibodies to the pre-synaptic voltage gated calcium channels, which leads to neuromuscular block.
Whether solitary or cancer-associated, the disease is believed to be of autoimmune origin. In 1989, the previously anticipated antibodies were demonstrated to be directed against presynaptic calcium channels, which are located in neuromuscular junction (see synapse) and are responsible for the efficient release of acetylcholine. The calcium channel antibodies prevent the opening of calcium channels and thus prevent the release of acetylcholine.
There are some patients that do not carry these antibodies in their serum samples and the exact cause of disease in these cases still remains to be determined. In cases with both LEMS and lung cancer (usually small cell type), the antibodies are suggested to be aimed at cancer cells and to bind and affect the antigens in neuromuscular junction accidentally.
3,4 diaminopyridine work by blocking K+ channel efflux in nerve terminal so that action potential duration is increased. Ca2+ channels can then be open for longer time and allow greater acetylcholine release to stimulate muscle at end plate.