Abstract The newer studies of heredity have thrown some light on the relations of certain factors (such as those mentioned in the title) to the occurrence, or to the development, of the so-called heredofamilial diseases of the nervous system (limiting this term to diseases that occur in families because of their idiotypic or genotypic constitution). The patients who suffer from heredofamilial diseases of the nervous system become pathologic phenotypes, because of the idioplasm or germ plasm, that has resulted from the fusion of their parental gametes. By one parent, or by both, hereditary factors (ids or genes) responsible for the occurrence of the disease must have been transmitted. I shall discuss briefly the present state of knowledge concerning the significance of consanguinity, race and certain other influences for the development of the types of disease that are under consideration. CONSANGUINITY Biologists have long been interested in the origin of the taboo References 1. The conception here outlined seems to me to accord best with the known facts of the recessive heredity of certain of the familial diseases of the nervous system. There are some biologists who look on inherited characters as developing from single determiners rather than from pairs of such determiners; they explain the recessive heredity of certain nervous diseases by assuming an absence of the single specific determiner, an explanation that will be found to be in general less satisfying, especially when the phenomena of reduction division are considered, than that which assumes a pair of determiners in the idioplasma as the basis of each hereditary unit character. It should be borne in mind, furthermore, that some hereditary diseases cannot be accounted for by the assumption of a single id or pair of ids, but appear to depend on several pairs of ids (polyidia); also that possibly sometimes one pair of ids may influence the development of several different phenotypic traits (polyphænic heredity). In order to keep the presentation simple, no mention has been made of epistasis, in which one id suppresses the determining power of another id that belongs to a different pair of ids, nor of hypostasis, the opposite condition. 2. Stern-Piper, L.: Kretschmer's psychophysische Typen und die Rassenformen in Deutschland , Schweiz. Arch. f. Neurol. u. Psychiat. 67:569, 1923.Crossref 3. Jordan, D. S.: Cretinism in Aosta , Eugenics Rev. 2:247-248, 1910. 4. Bramwell, B.: Diabetes Mellitus; Strong Hereditary History; Differential Diagnosis of Glycosuria and Diabetes Mellitus , Clin. Studies, Edinburgh 6:263-266, 1907-1908. 5. Gossage, A. M.: The Inheritance of Certain Human Abnormalities , Quart. J. Med., Oxford 1:331-347, 1907-1908. 6. Lenz, F.: Ein Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Basedowdiathese , München. med. Wchnschr. 64:292-294, 1917.
Archives of Neurology & Psychiatry – American Medical Association
Published: Sep 1, 1924
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