By Howard I. Kushner
Over a century and a part in the past, a French health practitioner mentioned the unusual habit of a tender aristocratic girl who might abruptly, all of sudden, erupt in a startling healthy of obscene shouts and curses. identical to the Marquise de Dampierre echoes throughout the many years because the emblematic instance of an ailment that this day represents one of many fastest-growing diagnoses in North the US. Tourette syndrome is a collection of behaviors, together with recurrent ticcing and involuntary shouting (sometimes cursing) in addition to obsessive-compulsive activities. The interesting heritage of this syndrome unearths how cultural and scientific assumptions have decided and notably altered its characterization and therapy from the early 19th century to the current. A Cursing mind? lines the tricky category of Tourette syndrome via 3 particular yet overlapping tales: that of the claims of clinical wisdom, that of sufferers' stories, and that of cultural expectancies and assumptions. past researchers asserted that the weird ticcing and impromptu vocalizations have been psychological--resulting from sustained undesirable behavior or loss of self-discipline. this day, sufferers displaying those behaviors are noticeable as struggling with a neurological ailment and usually are handled with drug remedy. even though present medical examine exhibits that Tourette's is an natural illness, this pioneering heritage of the syndrome reminds us to be skeptical of clinical orthodoxies in order that we may well remain open to clean understandings and more advantageous interventions. (20001209)
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Additional resources for A Cursing Brain? The Histories of Tourette Syndrome
Suggesting, albeit circumspectly and ambiguously, that the marquise was treated by Charcot lent clinical legitimacy to an example that otherwise would have been merely anecdotal. Despite the numerous citations of the case of the Marquise de Dampierre, a careful reader will quickly discover that every clinical statement made about her can be found in Itard’s 1825 account. 44 In particular, Gilles de la Tourette had been fascinated by the relationship between tic disorders and jumping and startle behaviors reported in Malaysia, Siberia, and Maine.
The marquise’s symptoms were the subject of much discussion even before Gilles de la Tourette adopted them as his emblematic case in 1885. ” 14 ◆ The Case of the Cursing Marquise Itard’s Marquise de Dampierre Dampierre served as Itard’s ªnal example of involuntary movements and speech in a number of patients who seemed to be otherwise in full control of their intellectual functions. Itard described seven men and three women, all of whom displayed bizarre behaviors not unlike those who in earlier centuries were believed to have been enchanted by diabolical forces.
24 Charcot (and Gilles de la Tourette), through Catrou, admitted that hysterics often displayed the range of symptoms that had been attached to Gilles de la Tourette’s illness—including the most ºorid of these, cursing and echolalia. 25 But Catrou claimed that in “la maladie des tics de Gilles de la Tourette” these behaviors were always spontaneous and never imitative. Moreover, Catrou explained that hysterics always could be cured of their tics either by hypnosis or other suggestion. True sufferers of Gilles de la Tourette’s illness, on the other hand, faced a much worse prognosis.
A Cursing Brain? The Histories of Tourette Syndrome by Howard I. Kushner