Jumping Frenchmen of Maine



What is jumping Frenchmen of Maine?

Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is characterized by an unusually extreme startle reaction. The startle reaction is a natural occurrence. It is the normal, rapid, involuntary response to a sudden or unexpected stimulus (e.g., a sudden noise or sight).

How common is jumping Frenchmen of Maine?

Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is extremely rare. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.


What are the symptoms of jumping Frenchmen of Maine?

The symptoms of jumping Frenchmen of Maine usually begin after puberty or during the teenage years. Individuals affected by this disorder display an abnormal and exaggerated startle reaction consisting of jumping, screaming, flailing the arms, hitting, or throwing objects.

A startle reaction is caused by sudden or unexpected stimuli such as loud or unexpected noises, a sudden command or gesture, or unexpected physical contact such as a sudden poke in the ribs. Following the startle reaction, affected individuals may repeat back words or phrases in a parrot-like manner (echolalia) and they may involuntarily mimic or imitate movements or gestures (echopraxia). Some affected individuals may involuntarily swear or utter obscene or socially inappropriate words or phrases (coprolalia). In addition, some affected individuals may exhibit automatic or “forced” obedience after a startle response during which they automatically respond to simple commands such as jump, run or hit. Normally, these individuals would not respond to such commands.

In most cases, the symptoms lessened in frequency and severity as affected individuals grew older. The intensity of the startle response may be affected by the frequency of being startled as well as fatigue, stress or emotional tension. An affected individual must be startled in order to elicit the reaction. Jumping Frenchmen of Maine can dramatically impact daily life because of the inability to control or mediate stimuli in the course of one’s day. Individuals with jumping Frenchmen of Maine were often teased deliberately causing an increase in the frequency and severity of the episodes. Usually, the more frequently an individual is startled, the more severe and stereotyped is the response.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.


What causes jumping Frenchmen of Maine?

The exact cause of jumping Frenchmen of Maine is unknown. One theory is that the disorder occurs because of an extreme conditioned response to a particular situation influenced by cultural factors.

Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is one of a group of culturally specific similar disorders, the startle-matching syndromes, which have been described from various parts of the world. The relationship among these disorders is unknown.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for jumping Frenchmen of Maine?

Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is jumping Frenchmen of Maine diagnosed?

A diagnosis of a startle disorder is suspected based upon a thorough clinical evaluation, a detailed patient history, and a variety of specialized tests to rule out other conditions.

How is jumping Frenchmen of Maine treated?

There is no specific therapy for individuals with jumping Frenchmen of Maine. Eliminating the practice of intentionally startling and/or teasing an individual so as to cause a jumping response can help to reduce or end episodes. Symptoms tend to get milder with age, but more intense with stress or anxiety. In the reported cases, startle episodes corresponded with stressful situations such as the start of work as a lumberjack. When affected individuals left the lumberjack camp the disorder lessened in both severity and frequency.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage jumping Frenchmen of Maine?

Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: November 7, 2017 | Last Modified: November 8, 2017