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Biological Treatment of Mental Illness

Samuel Friedman, MD
JAMA. 1966;198(8):955-956. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110210205066.
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Over 100 individuals have contributed 65 articles to this massive volume of 1,000 pages, which records the proceedings of the second international conference of the Manfred Sakel foundation, held in October 1962. The material is divided into eight compartments. Of these, section II, on physiology and biochemistry, and section III, on plasma protein fractions in schizophrenia, are at once the most difficult and most intriguing, as well as most representative of the application of biological sciences to psychiatry.

Detailed appraisal of each article is not feasible. However, the ingenuity of Curtis' efforts to measure the sensitivity of individual brain cells to psychomimetic drugs evokes special admiration. The work of Brodie and associates on the effect of monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, reserpine and other drugs on norepinephrine, and Himwich's data on the relationship between indole amines and psychotic reactions offer a glimpse into the future.

Several groups of investigators have been


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