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July 1925

The Inheritance of Mental Diseases.

Arch NeurPsych. 1925;14(1):136-137. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1925.02200130139015

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Myerson reviews the vast literature on this subject, cites ninety-seven family histories from the records of the Taunton State Hospital, Mass., and details a number of experiments in heredity on animals, with the view of showing that psychiatrists in general have greatly exaggerated the rôle of heredity in mental disease, that clinical research in this field has been unusually biased (notably the work of Davenport and of Goddard), and that there is much evidence of the inheritance of acquired characters.

The book is divided into two parts. The first, largely polemic, is written with the lay reader in mind. Two chapters are devoted to the definition of common psychiatric terms and of the more frequent psychoses. Emphasis is placed on the nonhereditary factors in the production of feeblemindedness, epilepsy, the psychoneuroses and the psychoses, and the importance of regarding mental symptoms like any other disease phenomena. This is best illustrated

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