Diversity distinguishes the Swiss Archives of Neurology, Psychiatry and Psychotherapy and this is particular true for this issue, which will interest both psychiatrists and neurologists.
This issue starts with a review “Working with relatives in the treatment of people suffering from dementia” by Jacqueline Minder et al., which describes the importance of family systems in the care of patients with dementia. It is well known that family members of patients with dementia carry a heavy burden and often run the risk of developing physical and/or mental illness themselves. It is therefore of central importance that the patient is not to be considered separately from his family environmental system and to understand patient-family-environment as a whole.
In “Introduction to medical orgone therapy”, Alberto Foglia presents a forgotten psychotherapeutic technique initiated by Wilhelm Reich in the 1920s. It is actually a disputable treatment and Reich himself was a controversial person. Foglia assumes that medical orgone therapy deserves more attention for its role in clinical practice and theory, as an integrative bridge between the various psychiatric disciplines. The readers of this journal will make their own judgment on the validity of this psychotherapeutic approach.
Patrick Caroll discusses the mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain and presents some of the current pharmacological treatments as well as novel targets for the development of new treatments for peripheral neuropathic pain. A key question that remains is how to explain the different susceptibilities of individuals to developing persistent pain in response to similar lesions. There is now good evidence to question the concept of pain as a purely physical phenomenon as more and more data suggest that pain is not only a sensation but also an emotion.
Multiple sclerosis is a disease with many facets and autonomic symptoms such as bladder disorders, impotence, gastrointestinal disturbances and orthostatic intolerance are frequent. GiacomoChiaroa et al. describe a patient with multiple sclerosis who presented with a relapsing form of acute paralytic ileus requiring surgery. They discuss the possibility that lesions invisible to routine neuroimaging might have played a role in precipitating the episodes of paralytic ileus.
The case report and quiz by Sanaz Attaripour Isfahani and Mark Hallett will test our clinical knowledge on the particularly complex field of movement disorders, an area of interest to both neurologists and psychiatrists. The authors report of the case of a 16-year-old woman who was referred to a neurology office by her psychiatrist, who was following her up for a diagnosis of social phobia. Her social phobia was attributed by her psychiatrist to her “abnormal gait”. I leave it up to the readers to find out whether the patient was suffering from a functional or a neurological movement disorder.
The movie analysis by Natacha Pougnier et al is devoted to the motion picture “Les Émotifs Anonymes “(Romantics Anonymous). The movie is an illustration of protagonists affected by anxiety disorders and social phobia. It provides a first approach of the theme of anxiety and ensures a good understanding of the diagnostic criteria defined by the DSM-V.
In the interview, Karl Studer speaks with a resident in training in psychiatry and psycho-therapy at a university clinic. The different challenges and requirements of the clinical training and the avenues open for research in the field of mental health disorders are addressed.
Finally you will find a book review by Thomas von Salis. The book is called “In jail. A report” (Im Knast. Ein Bericht). The author, himself a former inmate, describes the inner workings of one of the largest Swiss prisons.
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