The Curious History of Medicines in Psychiatry
Publisher: Pythagoras Press
ISBN 10: 0578637871
ISBN 13: 978-0578637877
In the years following World War II, there were no effective medicines for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression. There were not even names for such things— words like ‘antipsychotic’, ‘mood stabilizer’,‘antidepressant’ or ‘tranquilizer’ had not even come into being. Within the next two decades all these types of medicines were developed. Most of these discoveries occurred inadvertently, often with a chance observation by a physician or scientist who was looking for something else. Who would have predicted that war surplus fuel from German V2 rockets would be used to develop a new tuberculosis drug, and that a doctor prescribing it noticed that patients felt more hopeful, and thought this might be useful for depression? Or that a scientist testing a preservative for penicillin noticed that animals became quieter, and wondered if it might be a helpful treatment for human anxiety? In this book Dr. Mendelson, a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, draws upon forty years of experience studying medicines to describe how they were found, as well as the context of world events and the lives of the discoverers.
About the Author
Dr. Mendelson is a retired Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Pharmacology, and director of the Sleep Research Laboratory, at the University of Chicago. He earned an MD degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and completed a residency in psychiatry there as well. He has held professorships at Ohio State University and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, was Chief of the Section on Sleep Studies at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD, and Director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Mendelson is a past president of the Sleep Research Society. Among his honors is the William C. Dement Academic Achievement Award from the American Sleep Disorders Association/American Academy of Sleep Medicine as well as a Special Award in Sleep and Psychiatry from the National Sleep Foundation, and he is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Mendelson has authored seven books and numerous peer-reviewed papers on various aspects of sleep research and psychiatry. His career is described in Wikipedia at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallace_B._Mendelson. His website, which includes a listing of current guest articles on medical sites, a blog devoted to literature, as well as a downloadable curriculum vitae, can be found at: zhibit.org/WallaceMendelson.