GAGATES LITHOS. Bitumen from Gagas, Cilicia, first used around A.D. 200 by Dioscorides (q.v.) of Cilicia as a test for epilepsy (q.v.). He recommended a "suffumigation" of the stone, which involved passing it through fire to be smelted and then holding under the nostrils; if the patient suffered from epilepsy, he would fall to the ground. Alexander of Tralles (q.v.) also advised its use.
Bibliography: Whitwell J. R. 1936. Historical notes on psychiatry.
GAGE, PHINEAS P. (?-1861). An American citizen who was injured while blasting rock in 1848. The explosion caused a crowbar to transfix his skull and left frontal lobe. The iron bar, weighing 13¼ pounds and measuring 3 feet 7 inches in length, was picked up some distance away from him, smeared with blood and particles of brain. Gage recovered consciousness within a few minutes and made a dramatic recovery. His behavior, however, changed after this event and from an "active, steady, alert workman" he became "restless, adventurous, and unreliable," and "he was very profane." He spent some years traveling from place to place and charging a fee to the curious who wanted to see his perforated head and the crowbar. He later settled down to farmwork. His case was cited as clinical proof that frontal lesions of the brain cause changes in behavior but do not damage simple functions. His skull and the crowbar are preserved at the Warren Anatomical Museum of the Harvard Medical School.
Bibliography: Jackson J. B. S. 1870. Descriptive catalogue of the Warren Anatomical Museum.
GAIT. Manner of walking. Moses Maimonides (q.v.) remarked that the gait of a person could indicate whether he was sane or was of unsound mind.