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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael Todd, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This multiauthored book describes the etiology, pathophysiology, and treatment of various psychiatric illnesses seen in the geriatric population.
Purpose: The purpose is to offer information for the use of psychotropic medications in the elderly. Updates in basic neuroscience and clinical information of various psychiatric illnesses and their treatments are presented. It also touches on the historical aspects of psychopharmacology.
Audience: The target audience is clinicians and other health professions who care for geriatric patients. Researchers and students will also find this book worthwhile.
Features: Concise overviews of psychiatric disorders from anxiety to phobias to the treatment of sleep disorders are presented. Chapters are similarly structured to provide a general description, epidemiology, and neurobiological mechanisms as well as the treatment of each disease. Clinical vignettes highlight several chapters to further emphasize points from the chapter. Discussions of the changes in the pharmacokinetics and side effects of medications in the elderly are presented. Specific information regarding neurotransmitters and the physiology of disease in presented in a clear and thoroughly referenced chapters. Chapters on electroconvulsive therapy and dementia are also included. Three appendixes review basic prescribing information, enzyme metabolism and various drug interactions.
Assessment: This is a very good reference for psychiatric illnesses which can occur in a geriatric population. It has very thorough discussions of the basic sciences of many illness and excellent references and suggestions for further reading at the ends of the chapters. The section on dementia and memory disorders is limited to the discussion of Alzheimer's disease. Prescribing information presented in the appendix is not exceptionally helpful for clinical use. Anyone who is looking for an understanding of the basic science of disease and the effect of psychopharmacology on that disease will find this book a valuable resource.