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Explain how the link between the brain and mental disorders was first established. 
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While Hippocrates and others had long proposed that mental disorders had some physical cause, it was not until the 1800s that a clear link between a physical disease process and mental illness was established. This finding then paved the way for further exploration of how brain malfunctions could result in mental illness. General paresis was an illness that produced paralysis, insanity, and, typically, death within two to five years. This mental illness was recognized as a specific type of mental disorder in 1825. Thus, it was recognized as a unique disorder and attempts could then be made to treat it. It was eventually recognized that this illness was caused by syphilis.  This is the first documented link between an identifiable brain infection and mental illness. With this finding, and the rising influence of modern experimental science, the investigation of brain pathology as the cause of mental illness began in earnest. 
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