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Robert Graves. Portrait of the Irish physician Robert Graves (1796-1853). Graves was the first person to clearly describe exophthalmic goitre, a form of what is now known as Graves' disease, in 1835. Graves' disease, a form of hyperthyroidism, most commonly occurs when the body develops antibodies that trigger the overproduction of hormones by the thyroid gland. This can lead to a swollen neck due to expansion of the thyroid gland (goitre), and a staring appearance caused by the swelling of the tissues around the eyes (exophthalmos).
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