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A research unit from the School of Medicine of the University of Michigan challenged Babel Linguistics to provide a new fresh version in English of specific old German manuscript content on Sigmund Freud’s medical advocacy for cocaine. Nearly 140 years ago, cocaine was the world’s newest wonder drug on the market — touted as a cure for everything from morphine addiction and depression to dyspepsia and TB. His biggest supporter was Dr. Freud, who was a struggling neurologist with a favorite experimental subject: himself. The University of Michigan Medical School, as part of a scholarly research to place a contemporary medical dilemma in context with past events, asked our linguistic team to deliver a fresh look at some of Sigmund Freud’s handwritten correspondence in old German, especially in reference to Dr. Fleischl-Marxow, a brilliant physiologist who injured his thumb while dissecting a cadaver, resulting in chronic pain controlled only by large doses of morphine. Apparently, Freud used cocaine as an antidote for his best friend’s morphine addiction. A fascinating translation work was delivered, thanks to our experienced team of German linguists spirited by Dr. J. Bailey.
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