The Progress of General Paralysis in the Hereditarily Insane.—By Marandon de Montyel.—The introduction of this paper deals at considerable length with the question of the action of hereditary tendencies in the development of mental diseases. We had not thought that it was now necessary seriously to discuss the belief that insanity is a chastisement of sin, and a just punishment of those who have wandered from the ways of our Lord. In regard to prognosis, most will agree that hereditary tendency to insanity and other nervous diseases diminishes the probability of ultimate recovery. But Dr. Doutrebente has stated that among such, les candidats à la folie, general paralysis tends to become chronic, to remit and even to continue for 10, 15 and 25 years, although its mean duration is usually believed to be from 2 to 3 years, or only 13 months, according to Calmeil. It is naturally enough asked, “How is it that in general paralysis alone the disease is ameliorated, whilst in all other diseases the tendency to incurability and death is increased by inherited morbid tendencies ?” Dr. Doutrebente is equal to the occasion by saying, “We think the time is not far distant when general paralysis will no longer be considered a form of insanity, but a morbid entity, an interstitial encephalitis, which may be complicated by any form of insanity, without thereby constituting a distinct species. He also says, in his paper on the “Different Forms of Remissions in General Paralysis:” “It is not hereditary, at least in the same way as insanity, and it is not usually met with in families tainted by a progressive morbid heredity, especially towards insanity,” and he agrees with M. Lunier that it is due to a special form of heredity, one of temperament, normal and non-morbid.
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