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 leukemia
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

From the APA Style blog

APA Style Blog post: How to capitalize medication names

How to capitalize medication names

This blog post provides information on the APA Style capitalization guidelines for writing about medications.

Why titles have sentence case capitalization in APA Style references

Why titles have sentence case capitalization in APA Style references

Why are article titles and book titles in APA Style references in sentence case? The answer takes us back to the 1929 origins of APA Style and a guideline that continues to have practical advantages today.

Last updated: July 2022Date created: September 2019