By Howard I. Kushner
Over a century and a part in the past, a French health practitioner stated the weird habit of a tender aristocratic girl who might by surprise, all at once, erupt in a startling healthy of obscene shouts and curses. clone of the bothered Marquise de Dampierre echoes during the many years because the emblematic instance of an ailment that this day represents one of many fastest-growing diagnoses in North the United States. Tourette syndrome is a collection of behaviors, together with recurrent ticcing and involuntary shouting (sometimes cursing) in addition to obsessive-compulsive activities. The interesting historical past of this syndrome unearths how cultural and clinical assumptions have decided and extensively altered its characterization and therapy from the early 19th century to the current. A Cursing mind? strains the not easy class of Tourette syndrome via 3 special yet overlapping tales: that of the claims of clinical wisdom, that of sufferers' stories, and that of cultural expectancies and assumptions. prior researchers asserted that the weird ticcing and impromptu vocalizations have been psychological--resulting from sustained undesirable conduct or loss of self-discipline. this day, sufferers displaying those behaviors are visible as being affected by a neurological disorder and usually are handled with drug treatment. even if present medical learn exhibits that Tourette's is an natural sickness, this pioneering background of the syndrome reminds us to be skeptical of clinical orthodoxies in order that we may perhaps remain open to clean understandings and more suitable interventions. (20001209)
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Extra resources for A Cursing Brain? The Histories of Tourette Syndrome
Citing numerous published clinical reports of British physicians, the distinguished British physician Richard Bright could write in 1838 that the “combination of . . ”44 In 1850 French physician J. P. 45 That same year the French Academy of Medicine published and awarded a prize to Germain Sée of the Hôpital des Enfants for his De la Chorée, which concluded that “in most cases . . ”48 Tied to the view that rheumatic disorders often, but not always, resulted in choreic movement disorders was the belief that variations in movement symptoms were different manifestations of a common underlying condition, not distinct diseases.
The most inºuential and detailed study was American neurologist George M. Beard’s description of the startle, jumping, and ticlike behaviors of a number of French Canadian lumberjacks living in Maine. Beard, who popularized the diagnosis of neurasthenia, a condition he asserted was caused by exhausted nerves, visited and “experimented” with these lumberjacks near Moosehead Lake. 45 Beard was struck particularly by these men’s suggestible and imitative behaviors. “One of the jumpers,” reported Beard, “while sitting in a chair with a knife in his hand was told to throw it, and he threw it quickly; .
53 Yet none of Gilles de la Tourette’s actual clinical observations sustained such assertions. , a twenty-four-yearold clerk, who at eight years developed facial twitches, followed by arm and leg movements. Ch. displayed knee bends, lip biting, and jumping; however, he evidenced no involuntary sounds or coprolalia. The second oldest of Gilles de la Tourette’s patients, M. , was a twenty-one-year-old draftsman who ªrst exhibited eye blinking at age eight or nine and then contortions that led to a changed style of walking.