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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jeffrey Rado, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is a clinical guide covering the diagnosis, biology, and treatment of bipolar depression. Additional sections cover genetics and childhood bipolar depression.
Purpose: Although there is no preface, ostensibly the goal of this book is to provide clinicians with a practical and comprehensive update on bipolar depression.
Audience: The audience likely is psychiatry residents and psychology students as well as practicing psychiatrists. It is probably too detailed and focused to appeal to primary care providers or medical students.
Features: The book is divided into four sections covering diagnostic issues, biological factors, treatment, and special topics (suicide and childhood bipolar depression). It is clearly written without a lot of jargon. A large amount of research data, particularly the genetic studies, is summarized in depth yet very clearly, so a nongeneticist can understand this area of research. Each chapter is broken down into well organized section headings.
Assessment: This is an excellent, easy to read review of this topic. I would have liked more graphs, charts or other visual aids, however. There could have been more coverage of the use of antipsychotics in bipolar depression. A strength of the guide is that it is heavily evidence-based. Rarely are anecdotes or the personal opinion of the authors presented. Rather, the focus is on what the studies actually can tell us. There is a lot of helpful information and advice on how to make the sometimes tricky diagnosis of bipolar depression in both adults and children.