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Mental Disorder in Relation to Eugenics
At the annual dinner of the Eugenics Education Society, commemorating the birthday of Sir Francis Galton, the Galton lecture was delivered by Dr. A. F. Tredgold. He said that the majority of cases of mental disease were the result of inheritance. Environmental factors played a great part, but the main cause was constitution. The inheritance was not of the disease itself, but of the neuropathic diathesis, which diathesis was due to an impairment, or devitalization, of the germ cell. This impairment varied in degree in different cells, and as it was influenced by the condition of the second or combining cell, as well as by the environment, the results on the offspring differed greatly. There was no inheritance of mental defect or insanity as such, or of any quality as it existed in the individual. What was inherited was a tendency for development to
LONDON. JAMA. 1927;88(16):1245–1246. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680420035020
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