Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is a rare disorder characterized by an extreme startle response to a sudden sound or impact. This disorder was first mentioned in the 19th century but is still not present The cause is clear and there is no cure.
What is Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Disorder?
Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is an extremely rare disorder that was first discovered in the 19th century. The term refers to an extreme startle reaction. Usually when we hear loud sounds, we will have a startled reaction. However, the startle response in people with this Jumping Frenchmen of Maine disorder is exaggerated to an unusual level.
The person with this disorder does not intentionally exaggerate the startle response and has no control over his or her behavior. The patient will often suddenly move all parts of the body when there are stimuli such as (loud sound, an unexpected event happening right in front of him, sharp objects touching the body, …).
Jumping Frenchmen of Maine was discovered by Dr. George Miller Beard in 1878. During a train trip to Lake Moosehead – Maine located in the eastern United States, he accidentally saw a group of French woodworkers continuously jumping and jumping. uncontrollable body movements.
Although it was mentioned earlier, Jumping Frenchmen of Maine has not received much attention due to its extremely rare incidence. It was not until the second half of the 20th century, with more and more cases of the disease, that the scientific community began to pay more attention and research into this pathology. To date, the cause of Jumping Frenchmen of Maine disorder is unknown. However, the studies that have been done have found some characteristics and some effective ways to improve the disease.
Symptoms of Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Disorder
The typical symptom of Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is sudden, uncontrollable movement of all organs of the body. This response is known collectively as the extreme startle response. In addition, the patient may also experience some other symptoms.
Symptoms of Jumping Frenchmen of Maine disorder include:
- Have an abnormal startle response to a stimulus including jumping, moving all parts of the body, waving, shouting, throwing objects, etc. Triggers are usually loud sounds, Sudden gestures of the opposite person, sudden body collisions, etc.
- After the startle response is over, the patient may repeat words and phrases that sound like echolalia. In some cases, it is possible to unintentionally imitate the movements and gestures of others (Echopraxia).
- There are also cases where there is a phenomenon of saying obscene, inappropriate words (Coprolalia – one of the common symptoms in Tourette’s syndrome).
- The symptoms of Jumping Frenchmen of Maine disorder usually begin during puberty and adolescence. Over time, symptoms become less frequent and less severe than before. However, in some cases the symptoms are increasingly severe and stereotyped.
- The extreme startle reaction due to Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is dominated by nervous tension, anxiety, physical fatigue and weakness. With good stress management, symptoms can be reduced in frequency and severity.
Jumping Frenchmen of Maine disorder severely affects quality of life. In fact, knowledge about this syndrome is very limited. Therefore, the patient will have to face the eyes of scrutiny and discrimination. Some patients also face accusations of being fake, intentionally overreacting, etc.
Causes of Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Disorder
As mentioned, the exact cause of Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is unknown. According to research by experts, this pathology is a type of mental disorder related to nerves. Disturbances in the nervous system cause the patient to react with extremes of surprise.
This disorder has been studied extensively since the second half of the 20th century. Through many studies, experts have found that Jumping Frenchmen of Maine disorder is related to the following factors:
- Somatic nerve disorders: The somatic nervous system is part of the peripheral nervous system. Some experts believe that disturbances in this organ lead to an exaggerated startle response. Somatic neuropathy is often associated with genetics and genetic variation.
- Genetic: Experts have not confirmed that Jumping Frenchmen of Maine disorder is genetic. However, the risk may be increased if a close family member has the condition.
- Temporary neurodegeneration: Dr. George Miller Beard speculates that Jumping Frenchmen of Maine disorder may be the result of temporary neurodegeneration caused by isolated life in the deep woods. Later, researchers also found that Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is a conditioned reflex formed from a boring, isolated life in a log camp. This can partly prove that this speculation is completely grounded.
Dr. George Miller Beard believes that Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is part of a group of seizures that includes Tourette’s syndrome. However, more time and research is still needed before a definitive conclusion can be drawn.
Diagnosis of Jumping Frenchmen of Maine
Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is an extremely rare disorder. This disorder is diagnosed based on clinical presentation. In addition, the doctor will also take the medical history and ask the patient to perform some laboratory tests to rule out diseases with similar symptoms.
The symptoms of Jumping Frenchmen of Maine can be confused with those of a seizure disorder. Therefore, in the diagnostic process, the doctor will conduct a differential diagnosis of Jumping Frenchmen of Maine with the following syndromes:
- Hypertonicity/Hyperekplexia: Hyperekplexia is a rare neurological disorder that occurs in infants, and can sometimes be seen in children and adults. People with this syndrome also have an exaggerated startle response to sudden body contact or to hearing very loud sounds. However, people with Hyperekplexia do not dance, wave their arms, but show extreme muscle tension that leads to a stiff body and falls to the floor like a log (but without losing consciousness).
- Tourette’s syndrome: Tourette’s syndrome is an uncommon neuromotor disorder. This syndrome is characterized by repetitive speech and gestures (usually grimaces, rapid blinking, or involuntary movements of the shoulders, face, and extremities). In addition, people with Tourette syndrome also experience other symptoms such as bedwetting, trouble sleeping, excessive anxiety, obsessive-compulsiveness, and talking during sleep.
- Other psychological and psychiatric problems: In some cases, the physician may make a differential diagnosis with an uncontrolled startle reaction due to post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, schizophrenia, and alcohol withdrawal reaction. drug.
There are no tests that can detect Jumping Frenchmen of Maine disorder. Therefore, the only way is to explore symptoms, family history and rule out other conditions with similar symptoms.
How to improve Jumping Frenchmen of Maine disorder
Currently, there is no cure for Jumping Frenchmen of Maine disorder. However, some methods can help improve the symptoms as well as the severity of the extreme startle reaction. People with this disorder often have psychological problems associated with it. Therefore, it is necessary to focus on mental support so that the patient can overcome the disease and improve the quality of life.
1. Measures to improve symptoms
To improve symptoms of Jumping Frenchmen of Maine disorder, it is necessary to rule out behaviors that can cause startling such as loud sounds, unexpected body collisions, sudden situations, etc. This requires support. Support from family and people around. First, the family needs to be equipped with knowledge about the disease, and at the same time share with everyone about the patient’s health status to facilitate treatment.
Limiting startle behaviors markedly reduces the frequency of extreme startle reactions. Over time, symptoms should subside and have little effect on quality of life.
Experts find that stress and anxiety can make Jumping Frenchmen of Maine symptoms worse. Therefore, in addition to limiting startling situations, patients need to be equipped with stress management skills. In addition, jobs that are socially isolated, such as woodworkers, should be avoided.
2. Treatment of comorbidities
Jumping Frenchmen of Maine causes patients to face many psychological problems. Because of the extreme uncontrollable startle reaction, the patient is noticed, scrutinized, and stigmatized. If the patient presents with anxiety and depressive disorders, several medications may be considered. In addition, the family needs support for the patient to stabilize psychologically and learn to live with the disease.
Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is an extremely rare disorder. Although not life threatening, this disorder seriously reduces the quality of life of patients. Currently, there is no cure, but limiting unexpected situations and managing stress greatly help in improving symptoms.
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