Article ID: CBB000930740

Zwischen Theorie und Deutung der Vererbung psychischer Störungen: Zur Übertragung des Mendelismus auf die Psychiatrie in Deutschland und in den USA, 1911--1930 (2008)


Between Theory and Interpretation of the Hereditary Transmission Process of Mental Disease. The Introduction of Mendelism in German and North American Psychiatry, 1911--1930 1911 saw the beginning of decisive developments in psychiatric genetic research. During that year, two expert papers dealing with the application of the Mendelian Theory were published in Germany and in the United States. Only a decade after the rediscovery of the Mendelian Laws simultaneous efforts were being made to better understand the hereditary transmission process of mental diseases by means of the Mendelian Theory. The results of these efforts were disparate. While in the United States, the Mendelian theory was used to support the polymorphous theory of the hereditary transmission process of mental diseases, by which a common hereditary origin of mental diseases was assumed, the introduction of Mendelism in psychiatry in Germany focused on corroborating Emil Kraepelin's concept of a disease entity. The Mendelian Theory especially helps to underpin the idea of a specific genetic origin of the clinical diseases described by Kraepelin. As German and North American psychiatric genetics were inspired by diverse disease and genetic concepts, so too was their use of the Mendelian Theory very divergent. Research linked to the use of the Mendelian Theory was both dissimilar and hotly contested. This was due to the fact that it was difficult, if not impossible to identify Mendelian patterns by studying the hereditary transmission process. As a result, the approach of studying the genetic basis of mental diseases was further developed in Germany. Keywords: psychiatric genetics - mendelism - polymorphismous theory - Ernst Rüdin - Aaron J. Rosanoff

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Authors & Contributors
Kaufmann, Doris
Roelcke, Volker
Cottebrune, Anne
Harwood, Jonathan H.
Szöllösi-Janze, Margit
Herf, Jeffrey C.
Medizinhistorisches Journal
Journal of the History of Biology
History of Psychiatry
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
NTM: Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Technik und Medizin
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
Wallstein Verlag
Thoemmes Press
Trafford Publishing
Oxford University Press
Cambridge University Press
Mental disorders and diseases
Science and politics
Kraepelin, Emil
Rüdin, Ernst
Mendel, Gregor Johann
Morgan, Thomas Hunt
Galton, Francis
Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century
17th century
18th century
United States
Great Britain
Soviet Union
Moscow (Russia)
Interessengemeinschaft Farbenindustrie Aktiengesellschaft
Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften
Royal Society of London
Genetics Society of America
Cambridge University

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