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The Status of "Nonmotor" Features of the Malady in an Essay on the Shaking Palsy (1817)

Hurwitz, B.

International Review of Neurobiology 133: 3-12

2017


ISSN/ISBN: 2162-5514
PMID: 28802924
DOI: 10.1016/bs.irn.2017.04.008
Accession: 060391290

This chapter examines the status James Parkinson accorded "nonmotor" features of the malady set out in his 1817 Essay. In reading the Essay through the lens of this recently developed dichotomy I use "nonmotor" to mean the application of a late 20th-century category to a 200 year old account, whereas nonmotor designates application of the concept to contemporary understanding. While Parkinson granted "motor" components of the malady high definitional visibility, the Essay shows he was also attentive to patients' overall well-being and noticed some "nonmotor" aspects of the malady, in particular, constipation, interrupted speech, and difficulties with saliva and swallowing. He appears to have granted these features more than incidental status, especially in assessing variant pictures of the Shaking Palsy.

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