Tag Archives: Brain

Jumping Frenchman of Maine Syndrome

Well I’m back! I’m not going to pretend like you missed me but I hope your glad to see another post out of me. I did a bit of writing during my time off to build up a bit of a backlog so hopefully I can keep posting regularly for a while. Anyway, without any further ado…

Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Syndrome
Best. Disease. Name. Ever.

This disease was first observed in 1878 by the neurologist Dr. George Miller Beard, a guy I will definitely talk about again, in French-Canadians, lumberjacks and presumably some French-Canadian lumberjacks living in northern Maine. So that explains the “Frenchman” and “Maine” parts but lets look at what makes this a “Jumping Syndrome”.

This is the famous jumping Frenchman Patrick de Gayardon. He has nothing to do with this story. Left Right.

This syndrome is due to an exaggerated startle reflex resulting in uncontrolled jumps commonly but can also manifest as spasms throughout the body. The startle reflex is very important and forms part of the ‘fight or flight response’ normally…

For the remainder of this piece head to diseaseprone.fieldofscience.com

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Synesthesia – I Wonder What This Blog Tastes Like?

I have always held a high level of respect for people who research the activity of the brain. Like most things in biology, when you get down to the nitty gritty of it you can get some very complicated systems, but I could never handle the brain structure and function stuff. So I am fascinated with all the ways the brain can malfunction. This week I have chosen a personal favorite, Synesthesia.

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Mad Cow Disease aka Bonkers Beef!

Recently I’ve noticed our posts have strayed from talking about diseases to being about the causative agents themselves. We’ve looked at bacteria and viruses and then shown the diseases they cause. Instead of doing the other way around as was originally intended. Based on this we should re-name the blog ‘Pathogen/Microbe/Thing we want talk about of the Week!’, but it doesn’t have a very good ring to it…

To put things right, and because ‘Mad Cow Disease’ is very cool in its own right, we will return to a disease for our topic this week, rather than another bacteria or virus.

Why would you eat at a café that advertises itself with a mad cow? I wouldn’t go there even if the disease didn’t exist…

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