At one time patients with syphilis, diagnosed as general paresis of the insane, filled psychiatric hospitals, discovery of the spirochete that caused the illness, and subsequent development of antibiotics to treat it, emptied the asylums of those patients. Does this article represent an early step in the removal of Alzheimer's Disease from the province of psychiatry? Will the move to diagnosis by biomarker result in loss of the traditional eponym?
I hope we can follow this advance with discovery of biological mechanisms in other mental disorders, especially schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Better yet these diagnostic advances might lead to specific and more effective treatments allowing us to leave the couch even further behind.
Will psychiatry always have a role in medicine? Should we want it to or not?