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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Ovido A. De Leon, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This book is an important addition to the burgeoning and increasingly sophisticated field of CNS neurotransmission and neuromodulation. The book is organized in three parts. The first part deals with the evolution and localization of glutathione in the nervous system. The second explores the glutathione role in neural function, and the third examines the effects of altered glutathione function in aging and degenerative neurological disorders.
Purpose: Its organization is congruent with the editor's objective to focus the reader's attention on the multiple roles of glutathione in neural health and activity, as well as its potential for neurological damage.
Audience: The material is useful for neuroscientists. In an era of rapid advances in this field, it is crucial for clinicians to get a biological bearing (in both the evolutionary and the organic sense) on problems of neural mechanisms, let alone novel pathophysiological considerations. The editor has a well-known research track record on glutathione and his contributors represent the forefront on this subject around the world.
Features: Illustrations are superb and every chapter is well referenced. I found the material thorough and scholarly, containing a good deal of fresh information. The chapter on the discovery of the glutathione receptor on Hydra and its evolutionary significance is not only informative but an aptly chosen point of departure. The chapters on the regulation of apoptosis and the modulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission are relevant for understanding the role of glutathione in the nervous system. Chapter 13 discusses the implications for schizophrenia, arguing that a glutathione deficit during development has drastic consequences leading to abnormal connectivity. The final chapter on glutathione depletion, oxidative stress, and neurological diseases offers a working model of glutathione depletion illustrating its multiple roles for inducing neuronal death and neurological disease.
Assessment: The main drawback of the book is that, in spite of evidence of a strong editorial hand, some unnecessary repetitions are present. There are also some discrepancies that are inevitable in this novel field.