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Resume and accomplishments

Prof. Dr. Julio Moizeszowicz

Scientifics contributions

Julio Moizeszowicz seeks to explore the relationship between the body and the mind by psychopharmacological research, and in particular, determine how their interaction, expressed in psychotherapies and psychoanalysis, is influenced by psychopharmacological treatments in the different mental disorders.

In his writings, he suggests that an overflow of “energy” can disorganize the psychic apparatus to the extent that it requires the administration of psychoactive drugs to restore mental representations. (It has been demonstrated that not only genetic but also emotional factors can affect  neurotransmission in the brain.)

In mental disorders, there is an overflow of energy coupled with an inability to contain it. An excessive influx of energy cancels the pleasure principle and forces the psychic apparatus to perform a more urgent task: to bind energy and allow its subsequent discharge.

Sigmund Freud, in his monograph, "Project for a Scientific Psychology" (1895), recognized that energy in the brain ”moves along the neural networks". At the time of the discovery of endocrine hormones, Freud complemented his "Outline of Psychoanalysis" (1938) with acknowledgment of the possibility of influencing “chemically the psychic apparatus". He also recognized that the flow of information is transmitted from dendritic connections between neurons. In his view, the continuation for the propagation of impulses within neurons, the electrical impulse is converted chemical transduction. This release of chemicals (neurotransmitters) into the synaptic gap allows intervention with psychotropic drugs.

Neurotransmitters are "captured" by cell surface receptors, which generate an excitatory potential transmitted to another neuron.

In order to maintain permanent changes over time it is necessary to store the new information. This is done, primarily, through genetic factors within the cell’s nucleus so that the original message can be fixed in the nucleus of the neuron, where via changes in the encoded DNA sequence, thereby providing the molecular underpinnings for neuronal plasticity.  Eric Kandel, a  Nobel Laureate in 2000, demonstrated the existence of such genetic changes underlying learning and memory. Now, it is also possible to begin to differentiate between genetic and epigenetic factors that may contribute to mental disorders.  

 

In Freudian theory, psychosis implies an overflow of Id impulses that cannot be transformed into mentation. This invasion of emotions produces psychotic disorders: the Ego merges with the Id and turns away from the outside world (absence of reality testing). If the Ego remains allied with the outside world, and the Id is kept under control, the invasion of emotions yields to neurotic disorders. If the conflict is mostly between the Ego and the Superego, depression would be manifested. Over-adaptation to reality with denial of the inner world of emotions would likely lead to psychosomatic diseases. An invasion of the ego by “signal anxiety” can produce in neurotic patients intense states of anxiety and even panic attacks; patients can have a psychotic breakdown with a complete loss of  Ego’s potential for restoration.

Since the 1950s, with the synthesis of the antipsychotic chlorpromazine and the antidepressant imipramine, psychopharmacology  advanced at a remarkable rate, taking advantage of the progress of other sciences. At present, there are methods to investigate chemical and psychological responses of the central nervous system by using neuroimaging (functional magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, and single-photon emission tomography), neurochemistry and electroencephalography.

Psychoactive drugs may be regarded as objects, which act when words have lost their meaning and the Ego has lost its usefulness, when relationships and reality are distorted as a consequence of a stimulus overflow of the mental apparatus. They are also useful in the prophylactic phases of mental disorders, which are usually accompanied by painful vital conflicts, like separation, bereavement, job loss, illnesses, etc. It is recommended that patients should take their medication regularly (compliance) and form a therapeutic alliance with their therapists, who can inform them about the benefits, as well as of the risks of psychological and pharmacological treatments.

 

Julio Moizeszowicz

August 6, 2015