Random Fact

Avocados have the highest calories of any fruit at 167 calories per hundred grams.

Geek of the week

Nominate someone...

Nominate a Geek. Email [email protected] hypothesis.co.uk

Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Disease

By Stuart M. Smith, MD and B. James McCallum, MD

Though it is not really associated with a vocation, it did occur initially among nineteenth century lumberjacks in Maine, and therefore is included in this top ten.

Originally described by G. M. Beard in 1878, Jumping Frenchman of Maine Disease is an exaggerated "startle" reflex. It was first noted among related French-Canadian lumberjacks in the Moosehead Lake area of Maine. Initially thought to be a neurological and even an inherited disorder, later researches now suspect the disorder to be psychological and brought on by the stressful conditions in the lumber camps.

The "Jumping Frenchmen" reacted abnormally to sudden stimuli and lost control of their behavior. One effect was that they would obey any commands given them. This is similar to a condition known as Latah, which affects adult women in Southeast Asia.

The interest sparked by the publication of Beard's article about Jumping Frenchmen inspired Georges Gilles de la Tourette to investigate what later became known as Tourette's syndrome - an inherited neurological disorder characterized by the presence of multiple motor tics and at least one vocal tic.

Back to Top Ten Professional Maladies

You could also try:
Hub image: Gözde Otman

Return to the top »

Share this

Bookmark this article at Digg Bookmark this article at del.icio.us Bookmark this article at Slashdot Bookmark this article at StumbleUpon Email this article to a friend




Register with The Null
26 May 2010
Website by Forward Slash Media and Bristol Developers