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December 15, 1951


Author Affiliations

Brooklyn; New York

From the Mental Hygiene Unit, Brooklyn Regional Office, Veterans Administration.

JAMA. 1951;147(16):1519-1521. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670330011004

It is generally recognized that functional components may be present wherever there is organic disease, neurological or otherwise. Such functional material can at times dominate the picture to such a degree that it is possible for the physician to overlook otherwise significant signs of physical disease. This paper is not intended as a criticism of diagnostic failure. It is rather a plea for a closer working relationship between psychiatry and neurology. We hope to highlight the need for viewing the patient as a whole, interrelating physical and psychiatric problems. Limited investigation is inadequate insurance when dealing with patients. The importance of multiple examinations as well as reasonable competence in neurology must be stressed.

Over a period of several years our experience has been to note that a fair number of alleged psychiatric cases are ultimately diagnosed as neurological. We feel that there have been enough such instances to warrant a