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Body and mind - inseparable

New approach to schizophrenia

The concept of the often unquestioned separation of "body and mind" haunts philosophy and has also influenced the development of medicine. ARS-UNA now even assumes that in the same breath the areas of sex and power as well as movement and activities could be included, which are all conceived as interconnected.

Let us stay with the first two areas, which are captured in this context as cognition and processing (instead of mind) as well as feeling and fitness (instead of body).

In practice - and here the practice of medical treatment is meant - the concept of a smooth transition can be very important. The ability to determine a middle state, and thus to seek and perhaps find a middle path, should open up entirely new directions of research and treatment.

Schizophrenia has so far been mostly treated by trying to interfere with the dopamine supply, which, however, has basically only indirectly to do with this disease. Scanning the brain shows that it essentially affects the glial cells, not the synapses responsible for logical thinking in the first place. Even with multiple sclerosis, it had been noticed that there is a close connection with the immune system, which quasi mediates between such separate areas. Something similar is now indicated in this case and encourages to try completely different types of new treatment methods - in this case, with the drug natalizumab still under trial, which also is acting on the immune system.

Similarly, perhaps a smooth transition between other less-than-dangerous mental states, e.g. ADHD and autism are scrutinized and tackled with appropriately modified methods in medical practice. All in all, the Middle Way perspective, that is, the search for balanced intermediate states, should open up a broad field of new possibilities for a better life that can be achieved with comparatively simple methods.  

© Hans J. Unsoeld, Berlin 2017

Updated April 16, 2018  

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