Jumping Frenchmen of Maine


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Jumping Frenchmen of Maine

A condition characterized by a sudden, single, sometimes violent movement or cry that occurs in response to a sharp, unexpected sound or touch. The individual may also blurt out whatever was being thought of at the time of the stimulus. The condition may begin in childhood and be lifelong. It has been most frequently described in persons of French descent living in Maine, but may occur in a person of almost any nationality or geographic location. The cause is unknown and there is no effective therapy.
See: Tourette's syndrome; miryachit; startle syndrome
References in periodicals archive ?
Reilly in the Bangor Daily News recalling some celebrated cases of what is classified in medical circles as Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Syndrome.
Bartholomew, appears in the January issue of the journal Maine History under the title, "The Enigma of the Jumping Frenchmen of Maine.
For over a century the Jumping Frenchmen of Maine have posed a riddle that still elude a concrete medical explanation, but they remain a part of the rich heritage of Maine's French-Canadian community.