In general, do not capitalize the names of diseases, disorders, therapies, treatments, theories, concepts, hypotheses, principles, models, and statistical procedures.

The following are some common examples:

autism spectrum disorder

anorexia nervosa

major depressive disorder

diabetes mellitus

lung cancer


cognitive behavior therapy

bone marrow transplant

object permanence

theory of mind

associative learning model

law of effect

regression analysis

factor analysis

The capitalization of diseases, disorders, therapies, and related terms is covered in Section 6.16 of the APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition

However, do capitalize personal names that appear within these kinds of terms, as demonstrated in the following examples.

Alzheimer’s disease

Rett syndrome

non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Freudian theory

Pavlovian conditioning

Date created: September 2019