Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Neurology and psychiatry, a confusing relationship

Can you distinguish neurology from psychiatry? Actually, the difference between them becomes vague.

Recently, neurologists and psychiatrists are working along to discover some neuropsychiatric diseases such as motor neuron disease and schizophrenia. The result suggests a possibility of shared causes of these illnesses.

The Conversation: Freud’s divide between psychiatry and neurology is redundant – here’s why

In a historical view, some diseases previously categorized in psychiatric illnesses has been reclassified into neurological illnesses. For example, epilepsy, now commonly treated by a neurologist, was deemed as a psychotic illness. Even now, some Japanese psychiatrists are eager to deal with epilepsy. As well, neurosyphilis is now known as a form of infection of Treponema pallidum and treated in the division of neurology. But the other day, it was misunderstood as a psychiatric disorder.

Considering these facts, it is said that any diseases whose etiology was clarified are excluded from psychiatric diseases. If the genes responsible for the onset of schizophrenia is completely identified, not psychiatrists but neurologists will be willing to cure it.

Then, what is the core practice of psychiatrists? When the cause of all diseases is clarified, will psychiatry as a subspecialty vanish?

In my opinion, it is acceptable if psychiatrists will have no roles in the future. The absolute wish of all medical practitioners is the world which does not require them. Unfortunately, however, the day of extinction of psychiatry will never come.

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