MenuMedia WingBackMedia TimelineMedia ExhibitMedicine WingBackMedicine Timeline ExhibitMedical Establishment ExhibitPrevention ExhibitCures ExhibitSociety WingBackSociety Timeline ExhibitLaw ExhibitSports ExhibitEugenics ExhibitBreaking the Law?African Americans and the disABILITY ExperienceNew York WingBackNew York State Map ExhibitBack1900-19501851-18991800-18501650-1799RomeBuffaloNewarkNew York State Timeline ExhibitEducation WingBackEducators ExhibitEducation ExhibitAdvocacy WingBackAdvocacy ExhibitKennedy FamilySelf Advocacy Exhibit Virtual Museum > Medicine Wing Cures Exhibit Click on any image to explore the virtual gallery. Christopher Reeve (1952-2004) A horse riding accident resulted in a spinal cord injury that paralyzed this actor , best known for his role of "Superman." He would then found the Christopher Reeve Foundation devoted to finding a cure for SCI. Genetics The new medical and scientific frontier for cures for disabilities is at the gene and chromosome level. Testing for predisposition for disease, or in utero testing can now tell us about potential disabling conditions. Cause and Cure In order to cure disabilities, society has throughout time tried to identify the cause. From evil spirits to bad genetics, various techniques were used in an attempt to cure disabling conditions. Demons and disABILITY It was once thought that demons or evil spirits could cause disabilities such as mental illness and physical deformities. Lunacy The pull of the moon was also thought to be a cause for mental illness, hence, "Lunacy." Trepanning One method of letting the evil spirits out of the head was to cut a hole in the skull; this practice is known as trepanning. The Mind Of Man As medical knowledge increased, superstitions about mental disabilities were replaced. The mind is seen as the seat of madness or idiocy. Education as Cure When the New York State Asylum for Idiots in Syracuse opened in 1855, Idiocy was considered to be curable, and education was the answer. Physical Treatments The Spinning Treatment was one of many treatments that attempted to rid the body of mental illness through physical means. Other practices included bloodletting, purging, blistering, and frightening the patient. Spread Eagle Cure The Spread Eagle Cure was used to treat disorderly patients. Cold water was poured from a height over the persons face until the patient is "calm" Hydrotherapy Water continued to be seen as a viable treatment in the 1940s: this is a hydrotherapy room in a Mental institution. Electricity Mild electric shock was used to stimulate the muscles and the mind in this 19th century cure for mental illness known as Faradization. ECT Electroconvulsive Therapy was used for treatment of mental illness, including depression (photo circa 1940s.) Lobotomy The frontal lobe lobotomy, performed here by Dr. Walter Freeman, gained popularity as an effective treatment for mental illness in the 1940s. Quack Cures Some cures for disabilities such as epilepsy contained alcohol and opium and were sold to the general public. Quack Cures Some cures for disabilities such as epilepsy contained alcohol and opium and were sold to the general public. Ida McKinley Ida McKinley (1847-1907) experienced seizures while she was First Lady, bromides and laudanum (opium and alcohol) were part of her treatment. Pharmaceuticals Prescriptions like Luminal were specific for epilepsy and no longer contained opium. Phenobarbital, a barbiturate is the active ingredient in Luminal. Anticonvuls Anticonvulsant medications were developed over time to be less habit forming and more effective. Search for the Cure Telethons have been utilized to raise money for research for various disabling conditions, such as muscular dystrophy. The March of Dimes Public awareness campaigns like The National Foundation For Infantile Paralysis helped to raise funds for research. Later it is known as the March of Dimes. Dr. Jonas Salk would develop a vaccine that would address this public health threat. The Polio Vaccine Public awareness campaigns like The National Foundation For Infantile Paralysis helped to raise funds for research. Later it is known as the March of Dimes. Dr. Jonas Salk would develop a vaccine that would address this public health threat. Celebrity endorsements Entertainers like Sonny and Cher, and Henry Fonda have used their celebrity to promote research, and a search for a cure for CP. Cause and Cure In order to cure disabilities, society has throughout time tried to identify the cause. From evil spirits to bad genetics, various techniques were used in an attempt to cure disabling conditions.