December 1984

1983 World Health Organization Symposium on Psychovirology

Author Affiliations

Adult Psychiatry Branch, Intramural Research Program, National Institute of Mental Health St Elizabeths Hospital Washington, DC 20032
St Elizabeths Hospital Washington, DC 20032

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(12):1184-1185. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790230070012

To the Editor.—  Investigators from 16 nations recently participated in the first World Health Organization symposium on "Research on the Viral Hypothesis of Mental Disorders"1 and attended the birth of a new scientific discipline—"psychovirology." According to its organizer, P. V. Morozov (WHO), the symposium (held in september 1983 in Louvain, Belgium, under the unique cosponsorship of the WHO, Rotary Clubs International, and the Belgian College of Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological psychiatry—C. H. Vranckx, past president) represented the culmination of efforts begun in 1980 by the WHO to facilitate the exchange of information with and between scientists in several related fields. A first international symposium on the possible involvement of viral infection in the etiology of psychiatric disorders was held in Stockholm in 1981. Participants in the 1983 WHO symposium presented further epidemiological, immunological, virological, and neurobiological evidence supporting a role for viral infections in the pathogenesis of "functional" psychoses, especially

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