January 20, 2010


In the paved yard around St Clement Danes Church on the Strand in London stands this statue of Samuel Johnson. His hair, reminiscent of the frontal lobes of a dolphin brain, makes him recognizable from behind.His list of achievements speak volumes about the man, and according to his last descriptor, he could speak volumes.In the tradition of posthumously diagnosing past luminaries with current medical diagnoses, his list of descriptors could include Touretter. Movement disorders by their very nature are visible. Johnson's contemporaries chronicled his tics, motor and verbal. They also described obsessive compulsive behaviors. Johnson's remarkable intellectual output may have been the natural counterpart to his observed insuppressible motor energy.

The documentary evidence for Johnson's tics and obsessive compulsive behaviors is documented in this article from The Journal of the Royal Society of London.

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