January 1964

Schizophrenia: Chemistry, Metabolism and Treatment.

Author Affiliations

By J. R. Smythies, MSc, MD, MRCP, DPM. Price, $4.75. Pp 86. Charles C Thomas, Publisher, 301-327 E Lawrence Ave, Springfield, Ill, 1963.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;10(1):94. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720190096013

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The attractive hypothesis that schizophrenia is related to a biological abnormality has had many proponents during the past 50 years. Unfortunately, upon closer study, practically all of the data which have been reported to support this hypothesis, have proved to be the consequence of poorly controlled experiments. The relationships between stress-induced alterations in the biochemistry of man and the syndrome of schizophrenia remains unclear. This lack of clarity is well illustrated in this little book, although it is probably the best summary ever written on the subject.

Particularly attractive, is the philosophical discussion in the introduction which deals with general principles involved in the multiple causations of mental disease. The factors of genetics, metabolism, pathophysiology, and the conditioning of the organism by culture and life experience, are all made relevant. According to the author, even the Freudian theory will be reduced to physiological terms when more is known about

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