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History of Scleroderma

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
History of Scleroderma
Paul Klee and Scleroderma
School Report Resources

History of Scleroderma

Renaissance by Shelley EnszScleroderma was first described by Hippocrates around 400 BC.

The first clear description of it was made by Dr. Carlo Curzio in the mid-1700's.

The term "scleroderma" was first used by Giovambattista Fantonetti in 1836. (Also see:What is Scleroderma?, Types of Scleroderma and Systemic Symptoms)

Scleroderma: Background. Scleroderma is derived from the Greek words skleros (hard or indurated) and derma (skin). Hippocrates first described this condition as thickened skin. Dr. Carlo Curzio (1752) offered the first detailed description of this condition when a patient presented with hard skin, which he described as woodlike or containing a dry hide. The term scleroderma actually was applied to a patient's condition in 1836 by Giovambattista Fantonetti. He applied the term to a patient with dark, leatherlike skin who exhibited a loss of range of joint motion resulting from the skin tightening. Medscape.

Braden Pleas' Culture Fair Project on Scleroderma

Braden's Culture Fair Project on Scleroderma, 2011Braden Pleas presented a 7th grade Culture Fair project on scleroderma yesterday at Chimacum Middle School in Chimacum, Washington. His board was then chosen to be one of ten to be displayed at the Jefferson County Library for two weeks! The left side of the board is titled, "What is Scleroderma?" with photos from ISN of Raynaud's and joint contractures. Then, "Five New Things I Learned." The middle is "Celebrities Working for a Cure" and the lower left section is on ISN and his interview with ISN Founder and President, Shelley Ensz, along with a pocket of ISN brochures. The center section is, "A Day in the Life of My Mom", where he graphed his mother's pain scale throughout a full day. The right side of the board is titled "Components of Culture". The ISN thanks Braden for educating the public and raising awareness of scleroderma! Posted 1-25-11.

Paul Klee and Scleroderma

A Painter's Disease. After his death in 1941, Paul Klee was diagnosed with scleroderma. He once wrote, "Everything vanishes around me, and works are born as if out of the void. Ripe, graphic fruits fall off. My hand has become the obedient instrument of a remote will." Medpage Today. Nancy Walsh. 02/25/2011.
The Science & Art Project Presents 'The Art of Diagnosis' March 26. Artist Brydie Ragan has several ideas for general research related to the use of art for diagnosis and scientific research, and seeks to collaborate with a scientist or scientists to examine the artwork of Paul Klee for clues that might lead to a cure for systemic sclerosis, because he died of the disease. Ragan has a personal interest in the quest: her sister also suffers from the same disease. Media Newswire. 03/18/09.
Klee the observer. Klee's parents were musicians and he was raised to follow in their footsteps. Yet he chose to become a painter. He died of scleroderma on June 29, 1940, in Locarno-Muralto. swissinfo. 06/14/05.
A man made in Switzerland. Plagued by stomach problems, Paul Klee suffered from weight loss and hardening of the skin. He had difficulty swallowing and was incontinent. But his doctors failed to diagnose Klee's true condition, which has since been identified as scleroderma. swissinfo. 06/01/05.
Paul Klee and His Modern Art Paintings. Klee and his wife Lily emigrated to Switzerland in 1933. In 1936 he was diagnosed with progressive scleroderma and his artistic output was severely reduced by the severe illness for about 18 months. Masterpiece Paintings Gallery.
Exhibition explores Klee's difficult last years. Klee fell ill with bronchitis and measles in 1935, which were later diagnosed as symptoms of scleroderma, a terminal illness. He was bedridden until 1936, when he resumed painting on a limited basis. Klee's condition had stabilised by 1939, allowing him to paint more often. He died in June 1940 from cardiac paralysis. SwissInfo.
Paul Klee. See Wikipedia halfway down the page. Answers.com.
Paul Klee. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
(Deutsche/German) Scleroderma and Paul Klee: Metamorphosis of life and art? Article in German. PubMed.

School Report Resources

If you are a student, we hope you help raise awareness of scleroderma by doing a report on scleroderma! Here are some resources to speed you on your way to helping raise awareness of scleroderma.
What is Scleroderma? This is the best place to start! ISN.
What is Scleroderma, by Amy, Daughter of a Systemic Sclerosis Patient. Amy gave a school report and then submitted it to be included on our site. Don't copy it, of course, just use it as inspiration, or perhaps even do an attributed quote from hers! ISN.
Books on Scleroderma. Some of them might be available at your local library. If you plan ahead, you could ask the library to order them for you or transfer them from another library system. ISN.
Brochures on Scleroderma. They are in PDF format, in simple black and white, so you can print them for a hand-out along with a speech or report.
Causes of Scleroderma. The cause of scleroderma is generally unknown, however areas being investigated include autoimmunity, environmental exposures, genetics, and infections. Many researchers feel that several factors work together to induce scleroderma, such as a genetic inclination along with exposure to a toxin or infection which triggers the illness. ISN.
Copyright Policies. Students have some special copyright privileges, however it is important to always attribute sources. ISN.
Scleroderma Experts. Many scleroderma patients benefit from occasional consultation with a scleroderma expert. There are only a few centers in the world that specialize in scleroderma. ISN.
Symptoms of Scleroderma. A quick way to navigate through all our symptoms pages, with main menus for all major symptom categories. ISN.
Scleroderma Sites to Surf! There are dozens of fabulous scleroderma web sites all around the world, where you can garner a lot of super information, with listings available through the Scleroderma Webmaster's Association. SWA.

Stories from Patients and Caregivers. Many people find comfort or inspiration from reading about how other patients and caregivers have dealt with scleroderma. Our collection has over 500 stories in English, and also hundreds in other languages. ISN.

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