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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Signs and symptoms of acute mania: a factor analysis

Raveen Hanwella* and Varuni A de Silva

BMC Psychiatry 2011, 11:137  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-11-137

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Remembering Kraepelin

Mahesh Rajasuriya   (2011-09-19 13:21)  Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo email

I read this article with interest. And it made me think about the contribution, if any, it made to psychiatry. And then I couldn’t help thinking about the original descriptions of Kraepelin on manic-depressive psychosis. The single most important contribution Kraepelin made to psychiatry was towards defining psychiatric syndromes by way of analysis of large clinical samples to describe psychopathology and illness-course, along with efforts to define psychobiologically coherent and clinically differentiable entities1.

In this article Hanwella and de Silva try to fine tune the definitions of phenomenology of mania, treading, though in a largely smaller scale, the same pathway Kraeplin did over a century ago. And they have been able to utilise modern technology including statistical models to do this. What they haven’t done is to analyse the illness-course as Kraeplin did. Perhaps that would be the next step in a world where treatment methods available for treatment of mania and bipolar disorder have never been this sophisticated before.

1. Trede K, Salvatore P, Baethge C, Gerhard A, Maggini C, Baldessarini RJ. Manic-depressive illness: evolution in Kraepelin's Textbook, 1883-1926. Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2005;13(3):155-78.

Competing interests



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