This is a really good short review on schizophrenia – an important disease because it is common and causes a devastating illness, but also a disease with a number of interesting aspects. You could almost teach a Master’s course in public health using only schizophrenia for your examples!
In the 1970s and 80s schizophrenia was thought to be dying out in the UK, but that was because of fewer hospital admissions. Then there was a big debate about whether it was commoner in Afro-Caribbeans – or was it just that their big personalities made people mistake self-expression for mental illness. Note that the diagnostic criteria require that your beliefs are different from others in ‘your community’.
Then there was the question of how people got diagnosed. RE Kendell wrote a series of papers about this (PubMed him) – the one I’ve got is Kendell RE. The stability of psychiatric diagnoses. Br J Psychiatry 1974; 124: 536 – 6 which makes the point that the psychiatrist’s views on the diagnosis of any particular patient change over time as the illness evolves.
And I haven’t even mentioned genetics, design and evaluation of mental health services etc etc!