"Neuropsychiatry": From political beginning to synergistic present

Bijal MEHTA
Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada


The origin of neuropsychiatry (or behavioral neurology) did not begin from an amicable collaboration of the disciplines of neurology and psychiatry but rather was created for political and military reasons. The original intent for the term "neuropsychiatry," introduced after World War I, was to appease both military neurologists and psychiatrist so that both divisions would treat patients who did not solely fit the criteria of either a purely "neurologic" patient or a purely "psychiatric" patient. The compartmentalization of medicine led to the separation of these two disciplines, and shortly after World War I it was thought that this "artificial" division created by necessity would have dissolved. However, neuropsychiatry continued to develop. The topic of this contribution is to look at what "allowed" neuropsychiatry to continue to exist and evolve during the 20th Century? The paper discusses the history of neuropsychiatry from being a branch of psychiatry or neurology into a more holistic, but not yet independent, discipline. It also illustrates the development of the concept of synergy in its current and future application to both clinical and research neuropsychiatry.


Session X -- Poster Session 2
Tuesday, 29 June 2004, 8:45 - 9:25 am

Ninth Annual Meeting of the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences (ISHN)

Montreal, Quebec, Canada