Today, one of my colleagues posted the following link to an article
Nose jokes aside, and moving further and further away from Freud, I find this study to be very exciting and I hope it is an indication of the direction that mental health will be taking.
Many of us feel that the new DSM V is a bit of an embarrassment to the field. It is not scientific, it is based on symptoms and not causes, and in many ways is much more of a political document than a medical one.
Real research that tries to find the causes of problems will eventually lead to better treatment. Catch-all terms that change over time and are merely descritive of behaviors that are currently out of favor are not very helpful.
This article is a very small first step. The authors state that: The results showed that nose neurons from the schizophrenia patients had much higher levels of one particular microRNA (called miR-382) than those taken from the unaffected controls, as Shomron explains: .......After some more research, the team found that this particular microRNA molecule regulates the expression of genes that are involved in the creation of neurons.
This is just a marker, it is not a cause. But it takes us way beyond the early theories of only environmental causes. It shows that true schizophrenics have a different brain chemistry, as the result of a mutation in the expression of a gene.
BUT, i also want to make it clear that I believe that biological explanations will only rarely be sufficient. That's why DSM VI will also be a failure, as they are basing their future on finding more bio-markers.
However, if Psychology is going to remain relevant to anything but advertising, we will have to interact and collaborate with other sciences to develop a better understanding of what shapes human behavior, both adaptive and maladaptive. I think these sciences need to include both the more basic ones --biology, chemistry, genetics, as well as the more general ones, such as sociology, anthropology, and even climatology.
We can't be stuck doing the things we did forty years ago and calling them different names.
So, up your nose to your brain!