Research into the functioning of the brain will eventually result in medicinal therapy. In 1920 the Austrian Dr. Loewi is the first to ever isolate a substance in the human body that is responsible for the transmission of impulses among nerve endings. The discovery of such a substance is very inspiring for psychiatry. Numerous experiments are conducted with administering medicines to mental patients, often with dubious knowledge of the actual effects and impact.
In 1949 the Australian psychiatrist Cade discovers that lithium is an effective medicine for treating the manic syndrome. In 1952 the French surgeon Laborit finds that patients who have been given chlorpromazine during an operation, also remain calm after the operation. Further experiments with this drug show that it is also useful for treating psychotic patients. The drug is marketed as Largactil.
In 1957 a new antidepressant comes into circulation, Imipramine, produced by Geigy under the name Tofranil. In 1958 Janssen brings an important psychiatric medicine on the market, called Buterophenone. Around 1960 this antipsychotic drug appears as Halopéridol in hospitals, where even today it is still of great value (as Haldol).
Modern psychofarmaceutics have made it possible to make therapies more humane. However, there are also some disadvantages to it. Psychodrugs can only reduce the pressure of the symptoms and may have unpleasant side effects. Furthermore, administering medicine is quite simple, so the risk is that as a therapy it is used too easily.