Friday, May 24, 2013

Manic depressive illness by Johannes Lange, an ancient concept

Recently, I got a book describing about mood disorders.
This is titled as “The Theory of Manic Depressive Illness by Johannes Lange”. It is translated version into Japanese of the textbook “Die endogenen und reakiven Gemutserkrankungen und die manisch-depressive Konstitution”, published in 1928 originally. This one was sent by a certain mental hospital for us. I appreciate them very much. I am also thankful for the translator.
You buy one at by $63 (in Japanese). Unfortunately, I have failed to find the original German version.

It is an ancient record. The author says that manic depressive illness (MDI) was a genetic disease from several observations of twin patients. The symptoms of MDI are described in detail. Relationship between basic temper and the type of illness is also included into consideration. At last the author claims that the best way of the treatment of MDI is prevention of onset. What do you think about it? So, it is limitation of marriage of the patients!

For the honor of the author, I must empathize the fact that the author had no intention to forbid the marriage of the patients. He was only willing to warn the risk of inheritance of the disease to the patients.

The 1920s was so called as the dark age of psychiatry. Tranquilizers were introduced in 1950s for the first time. Even electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or lobotomy had not established yet. (ECT is now available for treatment resistant psychosis in spite of any disadvantages. Lobotomy is no more allowed.)

Actually, the author introduces continuous bathing therapy or oral intake of opium as an option of treatment in this book. These are ridiculous at all in modern medical science.

The concept of MDI has changed repeatedly. The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM; the latest version was released on Wednesday, as I wrote) defines Bipolar I and II Disorder, not MDI, in mood disorders. In 2000s, Mr. Hagop Souren Akiskal presented a broad spectrum of mood disorders which is partially accepted in the academic field. According to him, the prevalence rate of the soft bipolar spectrum is reached to even 10%. MDI mentioned by Mr. Johannes Lange is far from soft bipolar spectrum, isn't it?

Science is always progressive. It is common that a theory in yesterday is denied today. However, we also have to respect for ancient thoughts. It is possible that some critical points of view are described in past forgotten records.

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