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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Raj Tummala, MD (Wyeth Pharmaceuticals)
Description: This is the latest update of companion to Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology that focuses on the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a reader friendly, easy to understand book on the fundamentals of psychopharmacology related to depression and bipolar disorder.
Audience: It is targeted at anyone dealing with the treatment of patients with affective disorders including students, residents, clinicians, nurses, and psychopharmacologists.
Features: This new edition captures the shift from the receptor model to brain circuits and signal transduction cascades. The book covers three topics: mood disorders, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers. The first chapter discusses the nomenclature, diagnosis, and course of depressive and bipolar disorders and details brain circuits that are responsible for producing the symptoms that are associated with them. New to this edition is information on brain imaging studies that help in identifying brain regions that are affected. The chapters on antidepressants and mood stabilizers capture the latest advances in drug development as well as drugs in the pipeline. This edition covers depression in women in greater detail with a focus on estrogen. Symptom-based algorithms of depression and bipolar disorder are useful in helping clinicians decide the class of drugs for the respective symptoms. Unique to Dr. Stahl's books are the illustrations, which have been expanded in this edition to capture the latest advances. Information is presented in conceptual form that makes it easier to read and understand and is augmented with more graphs and tables.
Assessment: This remains a user friendly book while covering all the latest developments in psychopharmacology. The method of teaching through illustration and conceptual form should continue to make it very popular.