Anthropological Science
Original Articles
Paralysis and severe disability requiring intensive care in Neolithic Asia
MARC F. OXENHAMLORNA TILLEYHIROFUMI MATSUMURALAN CUONG NGUYENKIM THUY NGUYENKIM DUNG NGUYENKATE DOMETTDAMIEN HUFFER
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Volume 117 (2009) Issue 2 Pages 107-112

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Abstract

This communication documents one of the earliest verifiable cases of human paralysis associated with severe spinal pathology. A series of skeletal abnormalities is described for a young adult male (M9) from a Southeast Asian Neolithic community. Differential diagnosis suggests that M9 suffered from a severely disabling congenital fusion of the spine (Klippel–Feil Syndrome, Type III), resulting in child-onset lower body paralysis at a minimum (maximally quadriplegia). M9 experienced severe, most probably total, incapacitation for at least a decade prior to death. In the prehistoric context, this individual’s condition would have rendered him completely dependent on others for survival.

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© 2009 The Anthropological Society of Nippon
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