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February 1926

Psychoanalysis and the Psychic Disorder of General Paresis.

Arch NeurPsych. 1926;15(2):278-279. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1926.02200200131011

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A "literary preface" discusses the pros and cons of the question whether the mental symptoms of general paralysis can be explained psychologically, and in particular by the psychanalytic method. It reviews certain explanations of the delusions of grandeur: overnourishment of the cortex, central hyperemia, confusion between wish and perception, psychosomatic disorientation. It summarizes the early formulations of a personality type disposed to general paralysis and an endogenous factor, and asks what gap really lies between the functional and the organic.

One case is reported in detail with the patient's remarks taken in shorthand. The patient's delusions are traced to occurrences in his past, and are really frank wish-fulfilments based partly on his insight into his own disease. Several instances are given of patients with dementia praecox as well as general paralysis, who gave as their age at the time of examination the age at which they entered the hospital. A