George Miller Beard (1839 – 1883) was a U.S. neurologist who popularized the term neurasthenia, starting around 1869.
He is remembered best for having defined neurasthenia as a medical condition with symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, headache, impotence, neuralgia and depression, as a result of exhaustion of the central nervous system's energy reserves, which Beard attributed to civilization.
His book, "Practical Treatise on Nervous Exhaustion (Neurasthenia)" , was one of the first books to express the concept that your mental life can have a profound negative impact upon your physical health.
One of the more unusual disorders he studied from 1878 onwards was the exaggerated startle reflex among French-Canadian lumbermen from the Moosehead Lake region of Maine, that came to be known as the 'Jumpers of Maine'. If they were startled by a short verbal command, they would carry out the instruction without hesitation, irrespective of the consequences.
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