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Mental Strain and Dementia Praecox
Dr. Deroitte has shown that there are more dementia praecox patients in Belgian than in English asylums. Examination of causes shows that this possibly is due to different methods of instruction and to errors in hygiene of the nervous system. Brain work must not exceed the resisting capacity of that organ. As a rule, pupils are compelled to devote some time to home study, and reforms in instruction have only resulted in overloading the study schedules and aggravating the evil. In an article in the Scalpel, Deroitte suggests that physicians always be associated with any commission appointed to revise the curriculum. The advice of physicians is needed in apportioning the mental and physical work that pupils of a given age can safely be required to do. Their presence would help suppress the medieval custom of assigning mental tasks as a punishment, which only irritate a
BELGIUM. JAMA. 1925;85(15):1149-1150. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02670150047024