why study neurology?

mat mats_trash at hotmail.com
Sun Jan 13 09:13:59 EST 2002

> However I would say that the kind of reductionist/determinist certainties
> that have been aired in this thread so far are worse than useless when it
> comes to trying to understand what makes people tick and how one might
> help them.
This is true to an extent.  However most psychiatric drugs are based
on "deterministic/reductionist" theory (what else could they be based
on?!).  SSRIs for depression and agents affecting the dopaminergic
systems for schizophrenia have shown how these chemical systems in
concert with others define 'us'.  Susan Greenfield at Oxford is an
expert on dopamine and also interested in consciousness.  She believes
simply that the electrochemical dynamics of our brains are equivalent
to our minds.

> This last is probably true! (contrary to what someone posted earlier). I
> have yet to meet a consultant neurologist who doesn't have a substantial
> private practice.

What I said was that those neurologists who venture to the fringes of
the speciality, e.g. sub-specialising in the cognitive aspects, are
unlikely to get much private work as compared to those who specialise
in treating common disorders.

Future treatments of psychiatric and neurological disorders will
increasingly be based on similar foundations.  There is a limit to the
development of psychiatric treatment that does not require examining
neural physiology and applying pharmacological principles to develop
drugs. Similarly in neurology, advances in the physiology of neurones
(though likely different aspects of physiology such as inflammatory
responses and degeneration as opposed to synaptic function) will lead
to improved treatments

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