Anita Harding

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Anita Harding (17 September 1952 - 11 September 1995) was a British neurologist. She was born in Birmingham and educated at the King Edward VI High School for Girls and the Royal Free Hospital Medical School,[1] where she qualified in 1975.[2] She married neurology professor P.K. Thomas two years later, and trained as a neurologist.[1]

Harding made several significant contributions in the field of inherited neurologic disorders. Her major achievements were the classification of the peripheral neuropathies and hereditary ataxias, the first identification of a mitochondrial DNA mutation in human disease (in Kearns-Sayre syndrome) and the identification of trinucleotide repeats in degenerative neurologic diseases (e.g. Huntington's disease). She also worked extensively on the population genetics of disorders with ethnic distribution.[1][2]

She died of colorectal cancer, 6 days before her 43rd birthday and shortly before she was to take up the Chair in Clinical Neurology at the Institute of Neurology in Queen Square, London. On learning of her terminal condition she is reported to have said "[A]t least I won't have to buy Windows 95".[1]

In 1995 she was posthumously awarded the Association of British Neurologists Medal for her contributions to the science of neurology.


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