Ernst Rüdin's Unpublished 1922-1925 Study "Inheritance of Manic-Depressive Insanity": Genetic Research Findings Subordinated to Eugenic Ideology.

Published on Nov 6, 2015in PLOS Genetics5.22
· DOI :10.1371/journal.pgen.1005524
Gundula Kösters1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Leipzig University),
Holger Steinberg8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Leipzig University)
+ 1 AuthorsHubertus Himmerich30
Estimated H-index: 30
(Leipzig University)
In the early 20th century, there were few therapeutic options for mental illness and asylum numbers were rising. This pessimistic outlook favoured the rise of the eugenics movement. Heredity was assumed to be the principal cause of mental illness. Politicians, scientists and clinicians in North America and Europe called for compulsory sterilisation of the mentally ill. Psychiatric genetic research aimed to prove a Mendelian mode of inheritance as a scientific justification for these measures. Ernst Rudin’s seminal 1916 epidemiological study on inheritance of dementia praecox featured large, systematically ascertained samples and statistical analyses. Rudin’s 1922–1925 study on the inheritance of “manic-depressive insanity” was completed in manuscript form, but never published. It failed to prove a pattern of Mendelian inheritance, counter to the tenets of eugenics of which Rudin was a prominent proponent. It appears he withheld the study from publication, unable to reconcile this contradiction, thus subordinating his carefully derived scientific findings to his ideological preoccupations. Instead, Rudin continued to promote prevention of assumed hereditary mental illnesses by prohibition of marriage or sterilisation and was influential in the introduction by the National Socialist regime of the 1933 “Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring” (Gesetz zur Verhutung erbkranken Nachwuchses).
  • References (89)
  • Citations (3)
Eugene Lin1
Estimated H-index: 1
(PRC: China Medical University (PRC)),
Shih-Jen Tsai47
Estimated H-index: 47
(NYMU: National Yang-Ming University)
Abstract Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a serious health concern worldwide. Currently there are no predictive tests for the effectiveness of any particular antidepressant in an individual patient. Thus, doctors must prescribe antidepressants based on educated guesses. With the recent advent of scientific research, genome-wide gene expression microarray studies are widely utilized to analyze hundreds of thousands of biomarkers by high-throughput technologies. In addition to the candidate-gene...
Published on Aug 1, 2015in International Journal of Epidemiology7.34
Vania Januar5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Melbourne),
Richard Saffery44
Estimated H-index: 44
(University of Melbourne),
Joanne Ryan25
Estimated H-index: 25
(University of Melbourne)
Background: Several broad lines of evidence support the involvement of epigenetic processes in neurodevelopment and psychiatric disorders. Epigenetic disruption also provides a potential mechanism to account for the numerous gene-environment interactions that have been reported in association with neuropsychiatric phenotypes. Methods: A review of the literature was performed with keywords ‘depression’, ‘depressive disorder’ or ‘antidepressants’ and ‘DNA methylation’, or ‘epigenetics’ in humans. ...
Published on Feb 1, 2015in Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences3.49
Tadafumi Kato65
Estimated H-index: 65
(Riken-BSI: RIKEN Brain Science Institute)
Recent developments in DNA sequencing technologies have allowed for genetic studies using whole genome or exome analysis, and these have been applied in the study of mood and psychotic disorders, including bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder. In this review, current situation, recent findings, methodological problems, and future directions of whole genome/exome analysis studies of these disorders are summarized. Whole genome/exome studies of bipolar disorder...
Published on Mar 1, 2014in American Journal of Medical Genetics
David C. Glahn76
Estimated H-index: 76
(Yale University),
Emma Knowles17
Estimated H-index: 17
(Yale University)
+ 5 AuthorsLauraAlmasy70
Estimated H-index: 70
(Texas Biomedical Research Institute)
Endophenotypes are measurable biomarkers that are correlated with an illness, at least in part, because of shared underlying genetic influences. Endophenotypes may improve our power to detect genes influencing risk of illness by being genetically simpler, closer to the level of gene action, and with larger genetic effect sizes or by providing added statistical power through their ability to quantitatively rank people within diagnostic categories. Furthermore, they also provide insight into the m...
Published on Sep 1, 2013in Nervenarzt0.83
C. Beyer1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Hochschule Hannover)
Gottfried Ewald (1888–1963) war ab 1934 Direktor der Heil- und Pflegeanstalt und der Universitatsnervenklinik Gottingen. Im August 1940 verweigerte er auf einer Besprechung der „Reichsarbeitsgemeinschaft Heil- und Pflegeanstalten“ in Berlin seine Mitwirkung als Gutachter an der nationalsozialistischen „Euthanasie“-Aktion. Ewald verfasste kurz darauf eine ausfuhrliche Stellungnahme gegen die Aktion, die er u. a. an den Leiter der zentralen „Euthanasie“-Dienststelle Werner Heyde und den „Reichsarz...
Published on Aug 31, 2013in Nervenarzt0.83
V. Roelcke1
Estimated H-index: 1
Hans Roemer (1878–1947), Direktor der psychiatrischen Anstalt Illenau/Baden, war einer der wenigen Psychiater in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus, die sich explizit gegen die systematischen Krankentotungen („Euthanasie“) ausgesprochen haben. Der Beitrag gibt einen Uberblick zu Roemers Biographie und skizziert seine Aktivitaten als Reformpsychiater in den 1920er Jahren, als Protagonist im Bereich der psychischen Hygiene sowie als Befurworter von Eugenik und Zwangssterilisation von Patienten, die ...
Published on Aug 31, 2013in Nervenarzt0.83
Hans-Walter Schmuhl8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Bielefeld University)
Uber Jahrzehnte hinweg galt Walter Creutz, von 1935 bis 1945 Medizinaldezernent in der Provinzialverwaltung der Rheinprovinz, als einer der wenigen Psychiater, die dem NS-“Euthanasie“-Programm aktiven Widerstand entgegengesetzt hatten. Im Dusseldorfer „Euthanasieprozess“ war Creutz 1948/1950 von der Anklage der Beihilfe zum Mord freigesprochen worden; das Gericht bescheinigte ihm, die „Euthanasie“ nach Kraften sabotiert und auf diese Weise bis zu 3000 rheinische Patienten gerettet zu haben. In d...
Published on Feb 1, 2013in Journal of the History of Biology0.70
Jay Joseph1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of California, Berkeley),
Norbert A. Wetzel1
Estimated H-index: 1
Ernst Rudin (1874–1952) was the founder of psychiatric genetics and was also a founder of the German racial hygiene movement. Throughout his long career he played a major role in promoting eugenic ideas and policies in Germany, including helping formulate the 1933 Nazi eugenic sterilization law and other governmental policies directed against the alleged carriers of genetic defects. In the 1940s Rudin supported the killing of children and mental patients under a Nazi program euphemistically call...
Published on Mar 1, 2012in Nervenarzt0.83
V. Roelcke1
Estimated H-index: 1
Ernst Rudin (1874–1952) war einer der Begrunder der psychiatrischen Genetik, von 1931 bis 1945 Direktor der Deutschen Forschungsanstalt fur Psychiatrie (DFA) und von 1935 bis 1945 Vorsitzender der Gesellschaft Deutscher Neurologen und Psychiater. Der historische Kenntnisstand zu Rudin wird dargestellt, unter Einbeziehung neuer Quellen und mit besonderem Fokus auf Rudins Haltung gegenuber den nationalsozialistischen Krankentotungen („Euthanasie“). Es wird dokumentiert, dass 1. von einer Instrumen...
Published on Mar 1, 2012in Journal of Affective Disorders4.08
Olga Zivanovic2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Novi Sad),
Aleksandra Nedic2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Novi Sad)
Abstract Kraepelin's work is frequently cited and repeatedly interpreted as groundwork for the categorical classification of mental disorders. The scope of this paper is to present a fragment of Kraepelin's contribution to the nosology of manic-depressive illness from another point of view. Studying conscientiously the original text written by Emil Kraepelin more than one hundred years ago, the reader could conclude that the author's attitudes were more in line with numerous contemporaries who p...
Cited By3
Published on Jan 1, 2019
Carr J Smith1
Estimated H-index: 1
(FSU: Florida State University),
Thomas Albert Perfetti10
Estimated H-index: 10
Judy A King (LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport)
Hubertus Himmerich30
Estimated H-index: 30
('KCL': King's College London),
Jessica Bentley2
Estimated H-index: 2
('KCL': King's College London)
+ 1 AuthorsJanet Treasure93
Estimated H-index: 93
Genome-wide-association studies (GWASs), epigenetic, gene-expression and gene–gene interaction projects, nutritional genomics and investigations of the gut microbiota have increased our knowledge o...
Published on Aug 30, 2016
Substantial progress is being made in molecular psychiatry. Psychiatric genetic counselling (PGC), which may address how our knowledge from genetic studies is delivered to patients, is likely to become more routinely available as our aetiological understanding of psychiatric illness increases. The present study explores, using mixed-methods, potential consumers’ understanding and beliefs about the aetiology and pathology of psychiatric illness; their awareness of genetic counselling and percepti...
Published on Nov 18, 2015in PLOS Genetics5.22
Michael Yudell6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Drexel University)
It should be no surprise to the readers of this journal that the intersection of eugenics, psychiatry, and National Socialism in the work of Swiss-born German scientist and physician Ernst Rudin ended poorly for the victims of his abominable ideas. As one of the primary architects of Nazi eugenics, Rudin’s impact was felt most immediately in the euthanasia programs that his ideas instigated and he helped design as chair of the Committee for Racial Hygiene and Racial Policy at the Ministry of the...