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March 1929


Arch NeurPsych. 1929;21(3):542-570. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1929.02210210068004

There is a general impression in America and Europe that the Chinese are a self-restrained, unexcitable people, that they "have no nerves" and that consequently they are not subject to functional or even to organic nervous diseases. Even in medical literature generalizations have appeared to the effect that this or that nervous disease does not occur in China. As a rule, these statements are based only on the experience of the particular writer, and indicate merely that patients with the disease in question have never appeared, or have never been properly classified, in the hospital from which he writes.

The masses of the Chinese are ignorant of the aim of scientific medicine and of the advantages of entering a hospital for treatment. Furthermore, outside of a few missionary hospitals, there are extremely few physicians in the villages or even the large cities who could recognize a disease of the nervous