Charting the landscape of priority problems in psychiatry, part 1: Classification and diagnosis

Klaas E. Stephan, Dominik R. Bach, Paul C. Fletcher, Jonathan Flint, Michael J. Frank, Karl J. Friston, Andreas Heinz, Quentin J.M. Huys, Michael J. Owen, Elisabeth B. Binder, Peter Dayan, Eve C. Johnstone, Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, P. Read Montague, Ulrich Schnyder, Xiao Jing Wang, Michael Breakspear

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Contemporary psychiatry faces major challenges. Its syndrome-based disease classification is not based on mechanisms and does not guide treatment, which largely depends on trial and error. The development of therapies is hindered by ignorance of potential beneficiary patient subgroups. Neuroscientific and genetics research have yet to affect disease definitions or contribute to clinical decision making. In this challenging setting, what should psychiatric research focus on? In two companion papers, we present a list of problems nominated by clinicians and researchers from different disciplines as candidates for future scientific investigation of mental disorders. These problems are loosely grouped into challenges concerning nosology and diagnosis (this Personal View) and problems related to pathogenesis and aetiology (in the companion Personal View). Motivated by successful examples in other disciplines, particularly the list of Hilbert's problems in mathematics, this subjective and eclectic list of priority problems is intended for psychiatric researchers, helping to re-focus existing research and providing perspectives for future psychiatric science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-83
Number of pages7
JournalThe Lancet Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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