Barry Blackwell’s reply to Barney Carrol’s comment
Barry Blackwell’s Review of Johan Schioldann: History of the Introduction of Lithium into Medicine and Psychiatry: Birth of Modern Psychopharmacology 1949


      I thank Barney for expressing a couple of concerns about this review of Schioldann’s excellent history of lithium. My review was part of a large data base in the Controversies section of the INHN website starting with my essay “The Lithium Controversy: A Historical Autopsy,” posted in 2014. This includes a detailed discussion of Schou’s use of lithium to treat his brother and the implications of his illness, initially diagnosed as recurrent unipolar depression, but probably with subtle bipolar Type 2 features that were overlooked at the time but which Schou became interested in later in life.

      That essay also discusses subsequent research which established the validity of the prophylactic claim, but I overlooked Coppen’s early work in a hurry to get to a final conclusion. That shortcoming was corrected in the first comment of my essay by Paul Grof and Jules Angst, followed by extensive and prolonged comments from many experts in the field, providing a data base we are planning to publish as an e-book.


March 15, 2018