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From The CriticsReviewer: Christine J. Choe, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This succinct book reviews research findings in various domains of cognitive functioning in bipolar disorder and their application to clinical practice.
Purpose: The stated purpose is to provide a "scientifically based, clinically relevant overview" of cognitive dysfunction in bipolar disorder. The book addresses a subject that has received less attention compared with cognition in other psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, and attempts to dispel the common belief that cognitive dysfunction plays a relatively minor role in bipolar disorder, especially the euthymic state.
Audience: The target audience includes clinicians who engage in psychotherapy and/or psychopharmacology. Although clinicians at various levels of familiarity with the study of cognition could benefit from this book, it is written with the assumption that readers have only a moderate level of knowledge in the field. This might include clinically oriented psychiatrists and psychologists.
Features: A brief review of definitions and common neuropsychological tests and an overview of research findings in cognition in bipolar disorder begin the book. Subsequent chapters are devoted to clinically relevant topics in cognition research, for example, the impact of comorbid symptoms, applications to psychotherapy, and cognitive effects of psychotropic medications. The last chapter presents recommendations for practitioners. The book is characterized by outstanding clarity and organization. The review of terminology in the first chapter serves as a good foundation for topics covered later in the book. Case vignettes, tables, and "Take-Home Points" are included in most chapters. The writing is succinct and free of jargon. Topics are covered fairly comprehensively, with careful delineation of the limits of current knowledge.
Assessment: This book succeeds in being a useful and comprehensive overview of cognitive dysfunction in bipolar disorder. The editors and authors have made a clear effort to make the material understandable and clinically relevant. It covers an area of study that has received relatively little attention until recently. For all of these reasons, I would highly recommend this book.