Walter Brown: Lithium : A Doctor, A Drug, and a Breakthrough

Samuel Gershon’s comment on Barry Blackwell’s comments


        Barry Blackwell has done a superb job. He mentions the current decline of scientific progress in psychopharmacology and has noted the change of name of the ACNP indicating their self-recognition of this deterioration. He also correctly touches on some of the reasons that have contributed to this downturn which centers around the abysmal behavior of some of the so-called leaders in the field.

        The behavior of the bad characters has been a serious contribution to the tailspin our discipline is in now. I am reminded of Tom Ban’s report on the Ewen Cameron situation and the upheaval it created, as well as many of the other boondoggles in psychiatry research, e.g., the Heath story — here was a guy with an excellent academic reputation in neurophysiology and neurology who set out to find the cause of schizophrenia or Linus Pauling, who in his late life was deeply engaged in finding chemicals in urine that would diagnose schizophrenia and many others. The last I will mention is the one I lived through at Lafayette clinic in Detroit, a dedicated research facility for the Department of Psychiatry at Wayne State University when I came there as Chair in 1989. This research program was funded for many years and had a world-wide reputation for their famous research, but when I looked through the fine details of this long project, I uncovered that there was nothing there.


February 13, 2020