Eugene Bleuler (1857-1940): Man of Our Time


  • Malcom P. Weller Consultant Psychiatrist at Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS Mental Health Trust and Honorary Research Professor at Middlesex University



esquizofrenia, Bleuler


"Disturbances of perception, orientation and memory, in the sense that they were previously defined, never belong to schizophrenia: whereas they prove the existence of some other psychoses, they do not exclude the possibility of schizophrenia. On the other hand, definite schizophrenia disturbances of association alone are sufficient for the diagnosis" (p.298)

"Of the thousands of associative threads which guide our thinking, this disease seems to interrupt, quite haphazardly, sometimes such single threads, sometimes a whole group, and sometimes even large segments of them. In this way, thinking becomes illogical and often bizarre." (p.14)

These quotations harmonise with our current concepts of a failure of integration of diverse brain regions in this psychiatric disorder. Bleuler tended to see and to treat the more chronic "process" cases. Bleuler's genius was to foreshadow recent brain function findings in this group and to anticipate our moder concepts of neural connectivity, with a prescient analysis of the core features of the disease he named. The parallels in Bleuler's writings with moder neurological concepts will be explored.