Designatory Letters: 
MB Glasg 1944, MRCP Lond 1949, MRFPS Glasg 1950, MRCP Edin 1958, FRCP Edin 1961, FRCP Lond 1963, MD Glasg 1964, FRSE 1969, DSc Edin 1992, DSc Glasg 1993

Iain Simpson’s death on May 13th, 2009 may have brought to an end the life of a nationally and internationally famed neurologist but his influence, teaching and research findings and enthusiasm will long live on.

He had a brilliant school career in Greenock, followed by an equally promising one studying Medicine in Glasgow where he was later to gain an MD and DSc. After junior hospital posts an MRC Fellowship enabled him to pursue neurology training at the National Hospital, Queen Square, London before returning to lectureships in medicine in Edinburgh and Glasgow, culminating in his appointment as Professor of Neurology, Glasgow, 1964-1987.

His research interests and papers included myasthenia gravis, chorea caused by hypothyroidism, skin changes in hypocalcaemia, the measurement of nerve conduction velocity in carpal tunnel syndrome, thymectomy for myasthenia gravis, what was later called the Eaton Lambert Syndrome in patients who did not have carcinoma, and the autoimmune mechanism in myasthenia gravis. Many of these observations were ‘firsts’ but so also was a paper showing accurate correlation between EEG and pathology of cortical death after cardiac arrest, and another on immune deficiency in autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

He was guest lecturer or visiting professor giving 161 major presentations in universities throughout the United Kingdom, USA (including Harvard), Australia, India, every European capital, Japan and the North Pacific region. He wrote 2 textbooks, one on applied neurophysiology with reference to anaesthesia, the other on neuromuscular disorders, plus 34 chapters in other textbooks and 94 original papers.

Inevitably he was much in demand as a Board member for governments and academic institutions, as a member of editorial boards and as a guest examiner.

He married Dr Elizabeth Marguerite Hood Neill in 1951. They had three children - a daughter and 2 sons, both doctors.