In 1896 Kraepelin first introduced and defined his conception of the manic-depressive psychoses and dementia præcox. It has been fairly generally admitted that his was a brilliant piece of work, but since that time he has been led, in certain more or less minor respects, to modify his views. Briefly put, Kraepelin described in a very thorough and detailed way the symptomatology of these disorders, and then, according as the case was one of manic-depressive insanity or dementia præcox, the prognosis was held to be either good or bad respectively. Such a simple method of differentiation and of deciding on the prognosis seemed too good to be true, and although it must be admitted that in the main it holds good, yet in certain fundamental respects it fails. We all know that certain types of the manic-depressive psychosis do not get well, and on the other hand we all probably have seen cases which, symptomatologically, were cases of dementia præcox that recovered. In no group of cases has this been more clearly seen than in catatonia.
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