Article ID: CBB000933295

Zwischen Theorie und Deutung der Vererbung psychischer Störungen. Zur Übertragung des Mendelismus auf die Psychiatrie in Deutschland und in den USA, 1911--1930 (2009)


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.

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Authors & Contributors
Sufian, Sandra M
Cottebrune, Anne
Simunek, Michal
Sheldon, Myrna Perez
Sandahl, Carrie
Carlson, Licia
Journal of the History of Biology
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
Historia Scientiarum: International Journal of the History of Science Society of Japan
NTM: Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Technik und Medizin
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Centre for Sciences and Humanities of the Institute of Contemporary History of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Trafford Publishing
University of Illinois at Chicago
Cambridge University Press
Hereditary diseases
Galton, Francis
Bateson, William
Rüdin, Ernst
Tschermak-Seysenegg, Erich von
Mendel, Gregor Johann
Pearson, Karl
Time Periods
20th century, early
20th century
19th century
17th century
18th century
21st century
United States
Great Britain
North America
Royal Society of London
Cambridge University
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

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