26 FEBRUARY 1954, Page 13

SIR,—There is a high degree of probability that each emotion

or thought causes, or at least is associated with, a change in the body, in particular in the brain, and it is equally probable that physical or chemical alterations in the body cause changes in mood and reason- ing power, whether they be produced by hormones or toxins, drugs or exhaustion, electricity or injury.

There is no discoverable recess of the personality immune from this inter-relation of the material body and spiritual mind, neither the quality of love, nor the judgement between right and wrong, the power of deduction nor the spring of artistic or intellectual creation, nor even the value' given to life itself; examples are found in the experience of all medical practitioners. ' Materialism ' is an emotive word that has been flung to and fro as a weapon in this correspondence. To use it does not illumine the mystery of the links between those organised forces known as matter and the consciousness each one of us ultimately inhabits alone.

Psychology is but a lusty infant among the sciences; from it medical men have to seek what remedies they can when asked by their patients for relief from mental illness. It has been obvious to me from the evidence of results that there are suitable cases that gain help, and sometimes cure, either from physical treatments or from psychotherapy or from both. Family doctors are pleased they can choose the help of consultants known already to have what knowledge there is in these two branches; and they have to recognise with humility how many owing to lack of resources are those with nervous affections they can but ease by sedatives, or support with compassion.—Yours faithfully, Battle, Sussex