Skip to main content

The Eighth Maudsley Lecture: Dealing with some of the Work done to elucidate the Pathology of Disease falling to be considered under the Rubric “Insanity.”


It has not been given to many of those whom I have the privilege of addressing to watch the course of the scientific investigation of the pathology of the psychoses for a period of thirty-four years. Many of my hearers are scarcely old enough to feel the pangs of dis appointment. It will be some twenty-five years ago that, in general, the attention of workers in the domain of the pathology of insanity began to slacken in respect of that aspect of the work which, till then, had mainly interested them, viz., the morbid anatomy of the brain. The output of work in this field about then showed signs of diminishing. Attention began to be directed to the problem of pathological causation. Search began to be made for the pathological factors which expressed themselves in the morbid histological conditions found in the brain-cortex, and, passing on, if we note the interests of young graduates studying for a diploma in psychological medicine, we shall, I think, find that they are not in the direction of histo-pathology, but rather in that of, for example, the function of the endocrines, of the autonomic nervous system, possibly of bio-chemistry. My experience of published work from foreign clinics in psychiatry is that the same drift from histology is noticeable. Nevertheless, it would be unphilosophical to take the view that research in morbid histology of the brain is not worth while, and a perusal of the literature shows the work in progress in the field of the normal histology of the nervous system. Improvements in technique—in the main due to German, Spanish and Italian workers (how comes it that this branch is so little cultivated by the British?)—will add to our knowledge, and thus research in morbid histology will be constantly stimulated.

Hide All
1 Weimann, , Zeitschr. f. d. ges. Neurol. u. Psychiat., xcviii, 1925.
2 Cajal, , ibid., c, 1925.
3 Del Rio Hortega, , Bull. de la Soc. des Sci. Méd. de Montpellier, Aug., 1925.
4 Creutzfeldt, and Metz, , ibid., cvi, 12.
5 Leathes, and Raper, , The Fats, 1925.
6 Schuster, , Zeitschr. f. d. ges. Neurol. u. Psychiat., xliii, Heft 1–2, 1926.
7 Nagasaka, , Cited in Zentralbl. f. d. ges. Neurol. u. Psychiat., xliii, Heft 13–14, July, 1926.
8 Buscaino, , ibid., xxi, fasc. 4, 1926.
9 Witte, , ibid., xcviii, Heft 5, 1925.
10 Münzer, , ibid., ciii, 1926.
11 Kafka, , ibid., lxxviii, 12.
12 Scholberg, and Goodall, , Journ. of Ment. Sci., Jan., 1922.
13 von Strasser, , ibid., cli, Heft 1 and 2, 1926.
14 Kant, , Arch. f. Psych. u. Nervenkr. lxxviii, 3.
15 Bergeim, , Journ. Biol. Chem., Nov., 1924.
16 Becher and, others, Zeitschr. f. Klin. Med., civ, Heft 1 and 2, 1926.
17 Mazzanti, , ibid., xxxi, fasc 2, May 15, 1926.
18 Stanford, and Goodall, , ibid., xxix, No. 283, Feb., 1924.
19 Henry, , ibid., iii, pp. 681695, 1924.
20 Walker, , Lancet, p. 1058. Nov. 22, 1924.
21 Kastan, , ibid., lxxviii, Heft 5, 1926.
22 Loewe, , Zeitschr. f. d. ges. Neur. u. Psych., Originale, vii, Heft 1, 1911.
23 Folin, and Shaffer, , ibid., lx, lxi, 1903–1905.
24 Walker, , Journ. of Ment. Sci., July 13, 1923.
25 Bowman, and Fry, , Arch. of Neur. and Psychiat., No. 6, Dec., 1925.
26 Bernhardt, , Klin. Woch., April 16, 1926.
27 Lusk, , The Elements of the Science of Nutrition, 3rd edition, 1923.
28 Koch, and Mann, : Capt. Mann informs me that in this work the original investigations of Thudicum on the chemical composition of the brain were confirmed.
29 Claude, and others, , ibid., xciv, 1926.
30 Radovici, , L'Encéphale, Sept.-Oct., 1926.
31 Mann, , Journ. of Ment. Sci., July, 1925.
32 Halliday, , ibid., xviii, No. 71, 1925.
33 Büchler, , Arch. f. Psych. u. Nervenkr., Ixxvii, Heft 4, 1926.
34 Walter, , Münch. med. Woch., Jan. 9, 1925.
35 Hauptmann, , klin. Woch., No. 27, July 2, 1925 (numerous references); ibid., Nos. 34 and 51, 1925.
36 Jacobi, and Kolle, , Monats. f. Psych. u. Neurol., Feb., 1926.
37 Kant, , ibid., lxxviii, Heft 4.
38 Mann, S. A., Journ. of Ment. Sci., July, 1925; see also Drury and Farren Ridge (observations on 100 cases), ibid., Jan., 1925.
39 Lorenz, , ibid., viii, 1922.
40 Kasanin, , ibid., Oct., 1926.
41 Van Slyke and associates, Journ. of Biol. Chem., July, 1925.
42 Harned, , ibid., Oct., 1925.
43 Hector, , Lancet, Sept. 25, 1926.
44 Stanford, and Wheatley, , ibid., xix, No. 4, 1925.
45 Weston, and Howard, , Arch. of Neur. and Psychiat., Aug., 1922.
46 Henry, and Ebeling, , ibid., July, 1926.
47 Armstrong, and Hood, , Journ. of Ment. Sci., Jan., 1927.
48 Hamilton, , Journ. of Biol. Chem., Aug., 1925.
49 Weichmann, , ibid., lxxxiii, Heft 7–8.
50 Greene, , Sandiford, and Ross, , Journ. of Biol. Chem., Jan., 1924.
51 Folin, , ibid., xiii, pp. 4565, 1905.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2514-9946
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 2 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 6 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 19th February 2018 - 24th June 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

The Eighth Maudsley Lecture: Dealing with some of the Work done to elucidate the Pathology of Disease falling to be considered under the Rubric “Insanity.”

Submit a response


No eLetters have been published for this article.


Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *