As a trial for a radical schizophrenia treatment begins, the link between biological factors and some mental illnesses is becoming clearer than ever

Descartes’s notion of dualism – that the mind and body are separate entities – is wrong, but has proved surprisingly persistent, and until recently dominated attempts to understand mental illness. When the brain stopped working properly, a psychological origin was sought.

Undoubtedly, life’s experiences and our personalities shape the way our brains function. But there is now a compelling body of evidence that brain disorders can also originate from things going awry in our basic biology.

Related: Radical new approach to schizophrenia treatment begins trial

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".