Bleuler and the neurobiology of schizophrenia.

Heckers S
Schizophr Bull. 2011 37 (6): 1131-5

PMID: 21873614 · PMCID: PMC3196934 · DOI:10.1093/schbul/sbr108

Schizophrenia remains a major challenge for psychiatry. One hundred years after the publication of Eugen Bleuler's monograph, we are still debating the nosology and mechanisms of schizophrenia. We have stalled in the development of more effective treatments, after success with the introduction of antipsychotic medication. Cure and prevention remain in the distance. This article reviews the importance of Bleuler's monograph for the neuroscientific exploration of schizophrenia. While Bleuler assumed that schizophrenia has a neural basis, he remained agnostic on possible mechanisms and skeptical about the value of pathological diagnosis. He preferred psychological understanding over neural explanation. He gave hope by making schizophrenia dimensional and less predictive of course and outcome. To make progress now, we need to redefine schizophrenia at the level of the brain.

MeSH Terms (5)

Humans Neurobiology Psychology Schizophrenia Schizophrenic Psychology

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