Emil Kraepelin (1856-1926) was unquestionably the founder of modern psychiatry. He was the first to identify schizophrenia and manic-depression, and he pioneered the use of drugs to treat these and other mental illnesses. He was also joint discoverer of Alzheimer's disease (which he named after his collaborator, Dr Alois Alzheimer). In this, the eighth edition of his textbook, "Psychiatrie", Kraepelin established the conceptual framework within which psychiatry was to develop for the rest of the 20th century. He provided an encyclopaedic description of the signs of mental disorder, and classified them according to their causes, symptomatology and prognosis. Kraepelin's categories live on in the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual" used by present-day psychiatrists. The evolution of Kraepelin's categories is intimately tied to the publication history of his textbook, which first appeared in 1883 as a modest outline of then current thinking. By the second 1887 edition, he had put into place a ground-breaking system which divided psychoses into two types: the curable, caused by external conditions, and the incurable, caused by constitutional factors in the patient. Further editions saw new inclusions (dementia praecox in the fifth edition, manic-depression in the sixth). By the 1903 seventh edition (now 1390 pages), Kraepelin was applying Moebius's concept of endogenous and exogenous psychoses to his new system. The eighth edition, first published from 1909 to 1915 in four huge volumes with 2,818 pages is Kraepelin's definitive statement of these ideas in their full maturity. It also includes a large section on social psychiatry, which Kraepelin pioneered. But since that section never appeared in English, his contributions to the subject have largely been ignored in the Anglophone world. As part of its major new series, "Foundations of Modern Psychiatry", Thoemmes Press is pleased to present what is arguably the single most significant psychiatric text of the 20th century, in the original German.
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