The Archives of Neurology celebrates 50 years of existence. In 1919, it started as part of the Archives of General Psychiatry and Neurology. The journals split in 1959; both have flourished, becoming premier journals in their respective areas. Why did they split, and what has been the relationship between the two disciplines since then?
Both journals had lead editorials1,2 by their respective editors in the first issues, Harold G. Wolff, MD, for Neurology and Roy R. Grinker Sr, MD, for General Psychiatry. Wolff served as Chief Editor from 1959 until 1963; subsequent Chief Editors were H. Houston Merritt, MD, New York, 1963-1972; Fred Plum, MD, New York, 1972-1976; Maurice W. Van Allen, MD, Iowa, 1976-1981; Robert J. Joynt, MD, PhD, Rochester, New York, 1982-1997; and Roger N. Rosenberg, MD, Dallas, Texas, 1997-present. Both of the original editors reviewed the reasons for the division, suggested which articles would be appropriate for their journal, and both (along with every editor I’ve ever known) exulted in the fact that they now had more space, which would allow more articles to be published, with shortening of the publication time. The old dictum that you had to practice some psychiatry to make a living as a neurologist had disappeared by the time of the division of the journals. The specialty of neurology had strengthened considerably in the late 1940s and 1950s. The American Academy of Neurology had been founded in 1948, and they had produced their own journal. The academy had established a forum in which younger and nonacademic neurologists could come together. A large number of Veterans Administration hospitals had been built, and neurology was established as a necessary specialty to treat veterans with trauma to the nervous system and with other neurological diseases. These hospitals supplied opportunities to establish or expand existing programs in neurology. The National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke was founded to further research and expand training in neurology. The training grants they provided help found and expand many neurology programs. As part of these factors, many medical schools that have incorporated neurology into medical or psychiatric programs established independent departments. Now, only schools with antediluvian thinking have not done so. Both specialties benefited from the growth of a restricted pharmacotherapy, neurology with new antiepileptic drugs, steroids, and antibiotics, and psychiatry with tranquilizers and antipsychotic drugs.