By Howard I. Kushner
Over a century and a part in the past, a French health practitioner mentioned the weird habit of a tender aristocratic girl who might without warning, unexpectedly, erupt in a startling healthy of obscene shouts and curses. identical to the bothered Marquise de Dampierre echoes in the course of the a long time because the emblematic instance of an disorder that this day represents one of many fastest-growing diagnoses in North the US. Tourette syndrome is a suite 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 clinical assumptions have made up our minds and notably altered its characterization and therapy from the early 19th century to the current. A Cursing mind? strains the problematical category of Tourette syndrome via 3 targeted yet overlapping tales: that of the claims of scientific 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 strength of mind. at the present time, sufferers displaying those behaviors are visible as struggling with a neurological illness and usually are handled with drug treatment. even supposing present scientific examine exhibits that Tourette's is an natural disease, this pioneering heritage of the syndrome reminds us to be skeptical of scientific orthodoxies in order that we may possibly remain open to clean understandings and more desirable interventions. (20001209)
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Extra resources for A Cursing Brain? The Histories of Tourette Syndrome
22 Inºuenced especially by eclectic philosopher and educator Victor Cousin (1792–1867), Billod, in contrast to Itard, saw the “will” as an organ or “faculty” of the mind that, when diseased, could not be altered by environmental interventions such as reeducation of the senses. ” This power “of intellect over expression, is altered in this woman” and as a result her “will . . 25 Three years after Billod’s articles appeared, David Didier Roth reproduced Itard’s description of the Marquise de Dampierre in a book entitled Histoire de La Musculation Irresistible ou de la Chorée Anormale.
A twenty-year-old civil servant, displayed an array of symptoms, including motor and vocal tics, cursing, word repetition, and jumping. However, Gilles de la Tourette reported, S. ’s cursing unaccountably ceased and his movement disorders, except for some eye tics and infrequent tongue protrusions, disappeared. Only some echolalia (word repetition) remained. Gilles de la Tourette’s three other clinical cases were eleven-, fourteen-, and ªfteen-year-old patients. Like the ªrst three cases, none of them were old enough to sustain Gilles de la Tourette’s or Charcot’s assertions that the syndrome was a lifelong or progressive afºiction.
Assuming that variations of choreas shared a common rheumatic fever pathology, these practitioners resisted creating a separate disease category for convulsive tics. 58 It was his view that “because these two afºictions are part of the same pathological family (la ‘famille arthritique’), . . ”59 Charcot insisted that symptomatic differences and the course of each illness required separating variable choreas [convulsive tics] from Sydenham’s chorea. Following this view, modern clinicians have differentiated their diagnoses of what has become known as Gilles de la Tourette syndrome from Sydenham’s chorea and other movement disorders by emphasizing symptomatic differences.
A Cursing Brain? The Histories of Tourette Syndrome by Howard I. Kushner