Guy H. Fontaine is deceased. This paper is dedicated to his memory.
Naxos disease, first described by Dr. Nikos Protonotarios and colleagues on the island of Naxos, Greece, is a special form of arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD). It is an inherited condition with a recessive form of transmission and a familial penetrance of 90%. It is associated with thickening of the skin of the hands and sole, and a propensity to woolly hair. The cardiac anomalies characterized by ventricular arrhythmias with ventricular extrasystoles and tachycardia and histologic features of the myocardium are consistent with ARVD, but in a more severe form of dysplasia with major dilatation of the right ventricle. The identification of the responsible first gene on chromosome 17, and its product plakoglobin as the responsible protein for Naxos disease proved to be a milestone in the study of ARVD, which opened a new field of research. Thanks to those with the determination to discover Naxos disease, there is and will be more clarity in understanding the mechanisms of juvenile sudden death in the young who have an apparently otherwise normal heart.