Downs: The history of a disability

by David Wright

Oxford University Press | August 25, 2011 | Hardcover

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For 150 years, Down''s Syndrome has constituted the archetypal mental disability, easily recognisable by distinct facial anomalies and physical stigmata. In a narrow medical sense, Down''s syndrome is a common disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. It is named after John Langdon Down, the British asylum medical superintendent who described the syndrome as Mongolism in a series of lectures in 1866. In 1959, the disorder was identified as a chromosome 21 trisomy by the French paediatrician and geneticist Jerome Lejeune and has since been known as Down''s Syndrome (in the English-speaking world) or Trisomy 21 (in many European countries). But children and adults born with this chromosomal abnormality have an important collective history beyond their evident importance to the history of medical science. David Wright, a Professor of History at the Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University, looks at the changing social responses to Down Syndrome from Medieval Europe to the present day in the first ever history of Down Syndrome.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 256 Pages, 4.72 × 7.48 × 0.79 in

Published: August 25, 2011

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 019956793X

ISBN - 13: 9780199567935

Found in: Health and Well Being

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– More About This Product –

Downs: The history of a disability

Downs: The history of a disability

by David Wright

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 256 Pages, 4.72 × 7.48 × 0.79 in

Published: August 25, 2011

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 019956793X

ISBN - 13: 9780199567935

Table of Contents

Prologue: case study 1. The philosopher''s idiot 2. Mongols in our midst 3. The Simian Crease 4. Trisomie vingt-et-un 5. Into the mainstream Epilogue Glossary Notes Further reading

From the Publisher

For 150 years, Down''s Syndrome has constituted the archetypal mental disability, easily recognisable by distinct facial anomalies and physical stigmata. In a narrow medical sense, Down''s syndrome is a common disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. It is named after John Langdon Down, the British asylum medical superintendent who described the syndrome as Mongolism in a series of lectures in 1866. In 1959, the disorder was identified as a chromosome 21 trisomy by the French paediatrician and geneticist Jerome Lejeune and has since been known as Down''s Syndrome (in the English-speaking world) or Trisomy 21 (in many European countries). But children and adults born with this chromosomal abnormality have an important collective history beyond their evident importance to the history of medical science. David Wright, a Professor of History at the Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University, looks at the changing social responses to Down Syndrome from Medieval Europe to the present day in the first ever history of Down Syndrome.

About the Author

Dr David Wright received his D.Phil. in Modern History from the University of Oxford and then specialised, as a Wellcome Trust post-doctoral fellow, in the history of medicine. He is currently a Professor of History at the Institute for Health and Social Policy, at McGill University. Dr Wright is the author and editor of six books on the history of mental health and psychiatry, including the first scholarly volume on the history of mental disability: (with Anne Digby, eds.) From Idiocy to Mental Deficiency: Historical Perspectives on People with Learning Disabilities (Routledge, 1996).

Editorial Reviews

"A fluently written account that offers an excellent historical introduction" --Lancet
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