Description: This is an excellent and comprehensive new textbook devoted entirely to schizophrenia. This textbook summarizes the enormous body of literature and the contemporary state of the science of schizophrenia research. Written and edited by a team of internationally recognized clinician-scientists in schizophrenia research, this textbook represents what current psychiatry is all about.
Purpose: The purpose of the textbook is to produce a textbook that encompasses "...the current state of knowledge of its (schizophrenia) cause, nature, treatment, and services..." The editors correctly point out that there is not a singular textbook that incorporates, in such depth, all these domains of schizophrenia care. The editors and chapter authors have accomplished their mission.
Audience: The intended audience is, of course, psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatry residents, graduate students in psychology, researchers studying the basic and cognitive neuroscience of psychosis and schizophrenia would have their knowledge base broadened by reading this exceptional textbook.
Features: The textbook features 435 pages divided into 23 chapters and an index. The topics covered include all the important areas such as the history, epidemiology, genetic, prenatal/perinatal factors, neurodevelopmental theories, neurochemical theories, phospholipids, neuroprogressive theories, neuropathology and neural circuits, structural and functional neuroanatomy, psychopathology, comorbid disorders, neurocognition, social cognition, social/vocationalimpairments, clinical course, pharmacotherapy, psychosocial therapies, the prodromal phase, first episode features, treatment of chronic schizophrenia, nonpsychiatric comorbidity, and treatment within the public sector. The textbook contains great illustrations and figures. Each chapter contains relevant and timely citations of the literature. The index was very helpful in a textbook of this size. The only criticism of the textbook (and of contemporary schizophrenia research) is that schizophrenia is treated and talked about as if it is a single disease entity. There was only one paragraph in the first chapter that even mentioned this issue. If mental retardation and dementia were researched the way schizophrenia seems to be studied, we would never have discovered such entities as Rett syndrome, fragile X, progressive supranuclear palsy and Lewy body disease!
Assessment: This is an exceptional new textbook on schizophrenia. All clinicians and researchers who are interested in psychosis and schizophrenia should know the information contained in this textbook. I highly recommend it.