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5. Clinical Psychiatry and Neurology


The above was one of the subjects selected for discussion in the Section of Psychiatry at the International Medical Congress (held last August at Paris), and papers were contributed by Professor Marro of Turin, by Dr. Ziehen of Jena, and by Dr. Jules Voisin of Paris. The views of the last-named having been already epitomised,(1) it only remains to notice the papers of the two former. Professor Marro presented as his conclusions the following:—(1) That puberty exercises an important influence on the psychic life, and that pre-existent mental disturbances might thereby be invested with characters which previously they did not manifest, or manifested only in a minor degree; or indeed that it might open up the way to definite mental disorder. (2) That amongst psychoses affecting young persons of both sexes at the age of puberty, there was one in particular which might be regarded as specific—the hebephrenia of Hecker. (3) That the morbid manifestations of this form of psychosis combined in a special way the symptoms of certain other mental disorders, and that the post-mortem appearances showed morbid structural changes in the cerebral cortex and meninges—possibly consequent on a process of auto-intoxication, due to digestive irregularities and disordered metabolism. (4) The epoch of puberty and the precocious and abnormal exercise of sexual activity might be the means of originating morbid manifestations, stamping in some cases the individual with permanent peculiarity, although in others this might be effaced in after life under favourable circumstances. (5) The prophylaxis of mental disorder at this epoch demanded strict attention to avoid all causes which may interfere with the normal development of the organism, such as excess of physical or mental fatigue, and especially the precocious and abnormal exercise of sexual functions.

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(1) See p. 151.

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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2514-9946
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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5. Clinical Psychiatry and Neurology

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