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CONSTITUTIONAL FACTORS AS AN AID TO THE EARLY EVALUATION OF BEHAVIOR DISORDERS

F. I. WERTHEIMER
JAMA. 1927;88(1):22-24. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680270022006.
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It is often thought that interest in the constitutional aspects of pathology, that is to say in those factors which are "definitely more hereditary than environmental," goes hand in hand with a neglect of therapeutic and prophylactic endeavor. This belief, which amounts almost to a prejudice against constitutional studies, is not borne out by the historical evidence of the development of medicine. In the beginning of the nineteenth century, for example, when constitutional studies were still in the center of medical interest, the attitude toward therapy was an optimistic one; at the end of the nineteenth century, with its startling discoveries of exogenic factors of disease, there developed gradually a more pessimistic and nihilistic attitude toward therapy. In the field of mental diseases one can point to Morel, the first psychiatrist to recognize the importance of heredity as a guiding factor in the multiformity of psychopathologic reactions, as also one

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