Another Player

Emil Kraepelin, courtesy National Library of Medicine

Emil Kraepelin, courtesy National Library of Medicine

Emil Kraepelin (1856-1926) led the way for psychiatric research in the nineteenth century. Educated and trained in Germany, Kraepelin studied mental disorders and eventually developed a system of classifying mental illness that took into account a condition’s onset, course, and prognosis.

Kraepelin grouped conditions/illnesses by patterns of symptoms, rather than by the symptoms themselves. He called this a “clinical” rather than “symptomatic” view. Kraepelin’s distinction was important, because almost any single symptom could be seen across a broad spectrum of mental conditions. Classifying by pattern, (or syndrome) rather than symptoms led to a simpler and more uniform diagnostic system.

Kraepelin identified the pathological basis of Alzheimer’s disease,  identified schizophrenia (though he named it dementia praecox), and manic depression.

Illustration from Emil Kraepelin's Book

Illustration from Emil Kraepelin's Book, 1907



One thought on “Another Player

  1. Mark p.s.2

    He didn’t identify schizophrenia, he invented it. “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” was first published in 1886. Lots of imagination back then.

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