Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry | Medical Journals and Publishing | JAMA Psychiatry | JAMA Network
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September 19, 2019

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry

Author Affiliations
  • 1McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts
  • 2Editor, JAMA Psychiatry
JAMA Psychiatry. 2019;76(11):1115-1116. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.3127

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry by the American Medical Association. We are celebrating the occasion with editorials in JAMA Psychiatry and JAMA Neurology.1 The American Medical Association launched the Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry along with several specialty journals in the first decades of the 20th century. The goal was to provide a scientific publication of high ideals that would serve researchers and experts but would also be of immediate practical value to the clinician.2 The Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry was published from 1919 (Figure) until 1959 and replaced in 1960 by 2 new journals: the Archives of Neurology and the Archives of General Psychiatry. The Archives of General Psychiatry rapidly became a leading journal in the field, publishing original research articles of the highest scientific quality. Having one’s article accepted at the Archives was always an occasion to celebrate. With the formation of JAMA Network in 2013, the Archives of General Psychiatry was renamed JAMA Psychiatry but continued the same tradition.

Figure.  Table of Contents of the First Volume of Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry (1919).
Table of Contents of the First Volume of Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry (1919).

The history of the journal has mirrored the evolution of psychiatry as a specialty in general and that of US psychiatry in particular. This started by recognizing “nervous” and mental disorders as worthy of a dedicated and full-fledged medical specialty as opposed to the backwater domain of alienists and asylums. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, neurology and psychiatry were seen as closely related and often housed in the same academic department and, in our case, publications. This phase was characterized by an awareness of the unified nature of the brain and mind and an aspiration that disorders of this unified system can be treated by a neuropsychiatrist. By the mid-20th century, the science and practice of the 2 specialties had become distinct worldwide and particularly in the United States where psychiatrists’ interest in the brain waned with the ascendance of psychoanalysis. This resulted in the separation of the academic departments of neurology and psychiatry as well the as creation of the Archives of Neurology and the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Over the subsequent 5 decades and more, the Archives of General Psychiatry helped usher the resurgence of empirical psychiatric research that culminated in genetics and clinical neuroscience, upheavals in clinical care with the advent of psychopharmacology and evidence-based psychotherapies, and the redesign of care delivery with deinstitutionalization. Along the way, the Archives published the Beck Depression Inventory3 that bears the lead author’s name, the clinical trial demonstrating clozapine’s superiority in patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia,4 and the seminal report on ketamine’s mood-altering properties5 among many others.

Psychiatry continues to evolve. I will highlight a few themes. Psychiatry is no longer disconnected from the rest of medicine as it was in the mid-20th century. Society is arguably more interested in psychiatric disorders and treatments now than at any past point, including government officials and policy makers. Discoveries in genetics, neuroscience, and psychology continue at an accelerated pace and there is hope that these discoveries will lead to transformative advances in patient care. However, the morbidity and mortality associated with substance use disorders, suicide, and other psychiatric problems have increased in recent decades, putting more pressure on the field to deliver better treatments. In other domains, there is growing evidence for significant associations between brain and body and mental health and general health, and this has implications for improving the health of patients. Finally, emerging digital technologies promise to transform how we communicate with patients and deliver treatment.

Like psychiatry itself, the journal has evolved to reflect the vibrancy and complexity of our field and its intersection with the rest of medicine. The research we publish remains as diverse as ever, comprising a strong contingent of clinical trials at the top of the evidence hierarchy and many high-impact articles in experimental medicine, epidemiology, genetics, and clinical neuroscience. To these, we add review articles and meta-analyses that synthesize and contextualize the existing literature. In addition, we publish more opinion and short clinical review articles now than ever before. We interact with JAMA and the other JAMA Network journals regularly and refer manuscripts to those journals and accept transfer manuscripts from them. On our website and in electronic mailings, we highlight content from other journals, especially JAMA Neurology, that may be relevant to the JAMA Psychiatry audience. We also take advantage of the digital and other infrastructure elements of the JAMA Network to support dissemination of the work featured in our journal.

There is much work to be done in scientific discovery to alleviate the adversity patients and their families experience, develop treatments based on those discoveries, and effectively implement those treatments in our challenged health care system. As JAMA Psychiatry’s journey continues into its next 100 years, we are committed to ensuring that it remains a platform to advance this noble mission and influence the present and future of our specialty.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Dost Öngür, MD, PhD, McLean Hospital, 115 Mill St, Belmont, MA 02478 (dongur@partners.org).

Published Online: September 19, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.3127

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Ongur received personal fees from Neurocrine Inc.

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Kane  J, Honigfeld  G, Singer  J, Meltzer  H.  Clozapine for the treatment-resistant schizophrenic. A double-blind comparison with chlorpromazine.  Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1988;45(9):789-796. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1988.01800330013001PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Krystal  JH, Karper  LP, Seibyl  JP,  et al.  Subanesthetic effects of the noncompetitive NMDA antagonist, ketamine, in humans. Psychotomimetic, perceptual, cognitive, and neuroendocrine responses.  Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1994;51(3):199-214. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1994.03950030035004PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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