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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jeffrey S. Ross, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is the fifth volume of an ongoing series exploring various topics of human psychopharmacology and brain neurochemistry.
Purpose: The implied purpose is to present a wide diversity of current psychopharmacology research topics, each comprising a single chapter. Unfortunately, the goal of diversity is also its handicap, because there appears to be no unifying theme to tie these topics together. The style of the book more closely resembles a neuropsychiatry journal than a goal-oriented textbook, making the book somewhat redundant in the marketplace.
Audience: The book appears to target a highly select audience of academic psychopharmacologists and researchers, virtually excluding the much larger audience of practicing clinicians, who may find the topics too peripheral and heterogeneous to be beneficial in everyday practice.
Features: Illustration quantity varies from chapter to chapter. Diagrams include mainly graphs and tables used to depict complicated concepts of brain chemistry and physiology. References appear pertinent and current, and the index is adequate. The value of the table of contents serves nothing more than to highlight the unstructured array of topics covered in this and previous volumes.
Assessment: This book, the fifth volume in a series started in 1987, appears to be nothing more than a sophisticated, high-priced research journal with a hard cover offering little if any practical application to clinical practice. There seems to be no discernible organizing theme to the inclusion of topics other than their global link to brain research. Although select chapters may prove useful to neuropharmacologic researchers in their design of a study, the topics are too diverse to warrant investment in this book unless committed to the purchase of all previous and future volumes. Instead, subscription to one or more related journals may be more advantageous.