FIGURE 4.1. The medical basis of mental illness was under study as long ago as the fifteenth century, in Persia. This watercolor drawing from an anatomical textbook of 1488 reports beliefs about the correspondences between certain forms of mental illness and particular parts of the body. Source: Tashrih al-badan, 1488. The National Library of Medicine.

neuroscience has begun to uncover some of the intricate and less obvious relations between the mind and the brain, as investigative approaches from biochemistry, psychology, and genetics converge on an understanding of the physiology of mental illness.

In the 1980s, a new willingness to consider disorders of mental functioning as a proper concern of public health, and

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