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Re: Syphilis

Postby JaneyH » Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:39 pm

I think Sylvia is right. An article covering the broad topic of causes of death in Victorian times, including the symptoms which indicated syphilis, would undoubtedly be interesting. It could also include things that are not so well known now, such as consumption. Personally I would also value a brief guide to interpreting the column on Census forms that said "imbecile, lunatic ..." What did these terms really mean, with the benefit of 21st century understanding?

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Re: Syphilis

Postby pollymac » Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:30 am

Yes, a feature on historic medical terms would be very interesting. Apart from general paralysis, I have come across other terms such as syncope, cachexia, asthenia and marasmus on death certificates that I have had to research in order to find out their meaning. Many of my ancestors succumbed to tuberculosis in its various forms, so any background information on that would also be useful.
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Re: Syphilis

Postby Clyde24 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:45 am

Hey I don’t think that it was Syphilis. I feel he had the problem of scoliosis. I have heard about various celebrities with scoliosis who also have similar symptoms. You should search on scoliosis symptoms!
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Re: Syphilis

Postby AntonyM » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:54 am

You should also the consider the numbering and order of the different causes listed on the certificate - that indicates the causal relationship of the illnesses.
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Re: Syphilis

Postby peter kent » Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:50 am

Let's be clear on one point. The condition known as General Paralysis was well described in 19th century medical literature. It was a disease not a loose description of symptoms. If someone was diagnosed with General Paralysis there is little doubt that this is what it was.

The cause of general paralysis was not discovered until the early 20th century but that's another matter.
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Re: Syphilis

Postby pollymac » Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:06 pm

Thanks for confirmation, Peter.
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Re: Syphilis

Postby persephone » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:05 pm

My great great grand father's death certificate records his death as 'tabes dorsalis' which is also tertiary stage syphilis. I have read though that the Victorians and Edwardians were obsessed with syphilis and recorded many deaths as that, when in fact they weren't!
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