F. Siemens (Lauenburg in Pomerania), at the annual meeting of the German Society for Psychiatry at Kiel, in May, 1912, made the proposition, which received unanimous support, that the Empire might be called on to establish a biological institution for the investigation of the physical basis of mental diseases. He said that the building of expensive establishments and the discovery of new methods of accommodation cannot in the long run satisfy either physician or people. Neither was it of any value to continue the diligent grouping of mental symptoms into types according to the fancy of the alienist. There were only two kinds of symptoms in mental disease: (a) The elementary, caused by physical disease such as anxiety, hallucinations, emotionalism, stupor, catatonia, and delirium; (b) symptoms of a purely mental kind, arising out of the misinterpretation of those elementary derangements by the psyche. The study of the action of the internal secretion of glands encouraged the hope that in the investigation of mental diseases much also will be gained by this means. The individual provincial asylums were not in a position to accomplish the task of so comprehensive an inquiry, nor were the individual clinics at the universities, but the Empire must establish an institution on a large scale for this purpose.
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