Medicine: Paean to Nepenthe

The ancient Greeks combined syn (with) and posis (a drinking) to produce —as it is now anglicized—symposium, a drinking party. Last week a group of psychiatrists and other physicians gathered with sociologists and biochemists at the University of California School of Medicine for a symposium on drinking. The consensus: symposiums are wonderful.

Yale's Dr. Leon A. Greenberg reported on experiments made with 1) rats that he was trying to make neurotic by subjecting them to unexpected noises, and 2) rats that he had already made neurotic by the same means. He found that a couple of rat-size drinks greatly helped those in...

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