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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 47 (2005) 12, 827 - 836

Review article

From dementia praecox to schizophrenia. The reception of the concepts of

J. Wilschut

background   There has been a long-standing controversy about validity and usefulness of the schizophrenia concept.
aim   To find out how the dementia praecox concept of Kraepelin and the schizophrenia concept of Bleuler were received in the Dutch psychiatric literature between 1900 and 1937.
method   Two of the main Dutch psychiatric journals were searched on the basis of the key words 'dementia praecox', 'schizophrenia', 'reception', 'Kraepelin' and 'Bleuler'.
results   The reception of the two concepts can be characterised as ambivalent. The debate is centred on the contrast between the nosological interpretation and the symptomatological interpretation and focused on the conflict between genetic factors and acquired factors.
conclusion   In spite of the many objections that are still raised in discussions today, the term schizophrenia has gradually become accepted. A number of possible explanations are given for this.

keywords Bleuler, dementia praecox, historical aspects, Kraepelin, schizophrenia.