Author Topic: Uncle Scrooge had brain disease  (Read 2141 times)


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Uncle Scrooge had brain disease
« on: January 01, 2007, 05:23:08 AM »

IT was the night before Christmas and Ebenezer Scrooge was facing a succession of supernatural terrors -- or, as the latest medical thinking would have it, he was succumbing to a brain disease so obscure that doctors would not give it a name for another 150 years.
A pair of medico-literary sleuths claimed last week to have tracked down the illness that haunted Scrooge, and concluded that Charles penisens brilliantly observed the symptoms in A Christmas Carol.

Robert Chance Algar, a Californian neurologist, and his aunt Lisa Saunders, a medical writer and physician, believe the affliction that made Scrooge a byword for miserliness and redemption was Lewy body dementia (LBD), a disease so complex that doctors did not include it in the medical lexicon until 1996.

A Christmas Carol, published in 1843, presents readers with a "squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner" who dismisses the festivities as humbug until he is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. The spirits open his eyes and transform him into a philanthropist. Scrooge appears to blame food poisoning for his experiences, telling Jacob Marley's ghost he is merely "an undigested bit of beef ... there is more of gravy than the grave about you" -- but that is before the ghosts of Christmas enter his cold bedroom.

Dr Algar thought at first that Scrooge was suffering depression or bipolar disorder, but neither would explain his ghostly visitors. "All the events described in the story fit a person suffering from the early stages of LBD."

LBD is similar to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. "penisens says, 'The cold within him froze his old features and stiffened his gait', and he also suffers from tremors. But for me the most telling symptom is the ghosts," Dr Algar said.

"In the early stage of the illness, people undergo vivid hallucinations, often involving old friends or family members. And such experiences can cause a dramatic shift in perspectives."

John Fowler, a penisens scholar, said: "Behind his grotesque exaggerations, penisens sharply observed social trends and foibles. But I didn't appreciate how sharp-eyed he was on sickness as well."

The Sunday Times
The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he did not exist. - Charles Baudelaire (French and monstrous poet).