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Revista de Psiquiatria do Rio Grande do Sul

Print version ISSN 0101-8108

Rev. psiquiatr. Rio Gd. Sul vol.26 no.2 Porto Alegre May/Aug. 2004 



25 years' publication of a pluralist journal



It is with both pride and satisfaction that we address this editorial to Brazilian psychiatrists and other professionals involved in mental health care, our public, delivering one more issue and celebrating 25 years of uninterrupted publication of the Revista de Psiquiatria do Rio Grande do Sul (or Journal of Psychiatry of Rio Grande do Sul).

A quarter-century's publication of the Journal is an opportune point for us to celebrate the achievements and growth of the Journal and also for us to reflect, to review what went right and what was an error together with possible corrections in search of the fulfillment of our scientific responsibility.

It is in this context that we invite everyone to reflect on the Journal's first quarter century, during which we discern constant growth and ever-greater consolidation of its pluralist identity. Plurality of scientific directions and ideas, in our view, is the best we can offer psychiatrists and mental health care professionals in respect of the many different scientific advances related to the complex behavior and functioning of the human mind. The objective of our Journal is to publish original articles, reviews, case histories, short communications, book reviews and letters on the subjects of clinical psychiatry, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, neurosciences, epidemiology, public health, research and, in brief, the most varied currents of interest to the scientific community. We strive to contribute to the constant updating of the contemporary psychiatrist.

The excellence of a respectable publication, however, is built with the wide involvement of those that produce scientific knowledge. It is in this spirit that the Journal can be proud to have been able to count on an extensive list of tireless collaborators since its birth — who it would be impossible to name here at the risk of committing the injustice of forgetting to cite someone's name. A number of interesting facts came up in a retrospective of the last 25 years put together by our secretary Sandra Schmaedecke, to whom many thanks are due for her dedication to the Journal.

The first editor of the Journal, founded in 1979, was Cláudio Laks Eizirik, who graciously gave an informative interview to the editorial board, published in this issue. Cláudio, together with the dedication of those colleagues who made up the editorial board at the time, launched the Journal aiming to establish an editorial direction based on dynamic psychiatry and in clinical practice, dealing with themes of interest to the day's psychiatrists, which were debated at symposia and local conventions.

Over the years, 12 different dedicated colleagues have been editors of the Journal, and 70 have actively participated on its editorial board. Up to the year 2003, 79 issues and 943 articles had been published. The Journal was amplified by each successive management, passing through a number of different important phases, such as the creation and reformulation of editorial boards, national and international consulting boards, the assessment of articles by peers, updating the submission standards with the consequent inclusion of the Journal in the most relevant international indexers.

Today, the Journal of Psychiatry of Rio Grande do Sul is part of the national scientific heritage thanks to the effective involvement and participation of these fellow psychiatrists, of the authors of the articles and the readers who have contributed to its growth, respectability, maturity and scientific qualification. This year we achieved a solid financial base for the Journal by means of including advertising in the magazine, which project was initiated by the previous management. This sequence of achievements was only possible thanks to the integrated work of our fellow psychiatrists who predated us, ever thinking of the Journal's future, or the untiring support of the SPRS directorate, who always betted on the Journal and are currently represented by the President, Alfredo Cataldo Neto, and his colleagues at the directorate.

Because of all this, we toasted the Journal's anniversary with a program that was well qualified both scientifically and socially. On the eleventh of September we had a round-table with the presence of guests who are highly respected in our area, like Cláudio Laks Eizirik, Ivan Antonio Izquierdo and Maria Lúcia Tiellet Nunes, who dealt with the theme of "Publications and knowledge production in psychiatry". The dinner and ball both took place on this same date, with tributes to the 12 ex-editors for their services and to the five authors who have most often published in the Journal over these 25 years: Maria Lucrécia Scherer Zavaschi, Cláudio Maria da Silva Osório, Sidnei Samuel Schestatsky, Cláudio Laks Eizirik and Paulo Silva Belmonte de Abreu.

In celebration of the Journal's 25 years we have introduced some more changes and innovations as suggested by several different colleagues and which, we believe, will contribute to making the Journal even more qualified, in keeping with the current reality of scientific knowledge. Thus, we have modernized Journal's publishing methodology, maintaining printed on paper version in Portuguese while initiating the full text electronic publishing in English, by means of entry into SciELO, which is one of our most recent achievements, together with our listing in the CAPES QUALIS PORTAL of JOURNALS as a national journal classed at level "A" which brings with it the support of CNPq, one of the most respected scientific institutions at a national level. This means that articles published in our Journal can also be read more easily and quickly overseas, by means of the site On the cover of this 25-year commemorative issue we have printed a photograph of the sunset at Guaíba, which is one of the most beautiful views in the state (photograph by Fotografia Litus). In this issue readers will find a guest editorial by the historian Edson Cheuiche tracing a fascinating history in tribute to 120 years of the São Pedro psychiatric hospital, which institute is considered the cradle of gaucho (from Rio Grande do Sul) psychiatry and where innumerable professionals began their training.

We bring to the attention of our readers articles with the most diverse of origins, which in itself proves the rightness of the moment when we are celebrating 25 years of uninterrupted publication.

Opening the article section we have a special paper by the renowned English psychiatrist Timothy Crow. The author, well known in the academic world, treats us to an article summarizing his extremely original theory on cerebral asymmetry in the etiology of schizophrenia, suggesting that this disorder could be the price that humanity has paid for language acquisition.

We have published four original articles. The first, by Martins et al., is a highly intelligent paper discussing the enormous difficulties faced differentiating between affective and psychotic symptoms in many cases of schizophrenic disorders in the light of the famous John Nash case. To this end the authors treat our readers to an instrument that is new to our locale and which is published in full in this issue: the Operational Criteria Checklist for Psychotic Illness (OPCRIT). There then follow two papers on a subject that is studied with increasing frequency in contemporary psychiatry: posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the first case, Stein et al. publish the first article in our country using a sample from a primary health care center, bringing alarming results on the elevated prevalence of this disorder among poor populations in a Brazilian city and on its high comorbidity with depressive symptoms and alcoholism. The second paper on PTSD, by Berger et al., offers the readers a scale for PTSD screening and the careful methodology demanded by the semantic equivalence method in respect of its Portuguese language version. The fourth original article is by Carvalho et al., who begin with a critical bibliographical review following this with extremely practical and creative proposed algorithms for the pharmacological treatment of borderline personality disorder. Here our colleagues are filling a large hiatus in our literature on the theme and the proposal of these algorithms will be of great help to all those who dedicate themselves to the treatment of such severe cases.

We also present a brief communication from Ribeiro et al. This article reports the preliminary results from a sample of 1,062 volunteers in the project to standardize values for the International Affective Picture System which is used in experimental investigation.

Next in line are two review articles. The first is by our Canadian colleague Edward Shorter, who offers important reflection on disregarding the history of psychopharmacology. This disregard, according to the author, ends up leading to the rejection of drugs which could actually be used nowadays, but that were rejected in error. The second article, by Rosenthal et al., elaborates on the main neuropsychological findings associated with depression. This article collects together interesting published data which could be of great help in the daily clinical practice of those who deal with depressed patients.

Additionally we have the satisfaction of offering a letter to the editors from a North-American colleague on the suggestion, based on a clinical case, of using high dose naltrexone to treat auto-aggression in children. Our Journal's exchanges with non-Brazilian colleagues suggests that we are widening our publication horizons beyond our own country. We also publish another letter to the editors from our colleague Antônio Teixeira on the paper entitled "PANDAS and the immunologic hypothesis for obsessive-compulsive disorder", by Ronchetti et al., published in our last edition. WE also print the authors' reply to our colleague from Minas Gerais, which gratifies us greatly since it is this spirit of scientific debate that is expected from a journal that styles itself pluralist.

One of our book reviews, by Nazur Vasconcellos, comments on the Manual de técnica psychoanalytical: uma re-visão (A Guide to Psychoanalytic Technique: a re-vision), written by David Zimerman and the other, by Eugenio Grevet, deals with the book Terapia cognitivo-comportamental na prática clínica, by Paulo Knapp et al. It gives us great honor to publish reviews of these two books organized by gaucho colleagues on subjects that are so fundamental to contemporary psychiatry and which, without doubt, will contribute much to Brazilian psychiatry.

As was mentioned above, we present an interview with Cláudio Laks Eizirik, who was responsible for the first steps taken by our Journal, since when 25 long years have passed. Eizirik, further to his recognized qualities as psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and professor, brings the readers an historical vision of those times and discusses subjects that are crucial to scientific publishing media today. The interview with Cláudio reveals that, if we have arrived at a commemorative edition of such a high level, it is because over the last 25 years, editors and their colleagues on the editorial board have worked hard and have worked well and also that the contribution of all of those colleagues who have put their faith in the Journal of Psychiatry of Rio Grande do Sul by sending in their work for publication was also fundamental. This issue, therefore, is dedicated to all: comrades at work, authors and readers.

Happy reading to all.


Flávio Shansis and Jacó Zaslavsky

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