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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, DO, MA (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This is a top-notch new textbook covering the neuropharmacology basis of cognitive neuroscience. The textbook is a great introduction to the fundamentals of neuropharmacology, the neural mechanisms involved in the actions of drugs, and neurophysiology/neuropharmacology of cognition, emotion, and memory. Written and edited by internationally recognized leaders in the field, this book is an outstanding contribution to neuroscientific education.
Purpose: The purpose of this textbook is help the reader have a deeper appreciation of drug action by developing an understanding of the "... entire sequence of events commencing with drug action". The editors correctly assert that "...only with an awareness of the many steps in the process can we grasp how a drug changes complex nervous system functions such as movement, cognition, pain or mood".
Audience: The targeted audience is wide, according to the editors, and includes: undergraduate and graduate students, students in the medical and heath professions, and residents in psychiatry, neurology, neurosurgery, rehabilitation medicine, anesthesiology as well as practicing clinicians.
Features: The book features 498 pages divided into 3 parts containing 19 chapters including an index. Part 1 focuses on fundamental issues and includes chapters on cell signaling, synaptic transmission and signal transduction. Part 2 reviews the neurophysiologic basis of drug action with chapters on excitatory/inhibitory amino acids, monoamines, acetylcholine and orexin, neuropeptides, and atypical neurotransmitters. The last section, which I thought was the best part of the book, is on higher brain functions and contains chapters on the autonomic nervous system, pain and inflammation, sleep, higher cognitive functions and behavior, mood and emotion, addiction, psychoses, neurodegeneration, seizure disorders, and stroke and migraine. The textbook is filled with wonderful diagrams and figures. Each chapter ends with a list of suggested readings. The index was useful as well.
Assessment: This is an outstanding new introductory textbook on neuropharmacology and its implications for cognitive neuroscience. Anyone who wants to keep abreast of this rapidly emerging science needs to learn the fundamentals which this book would help facilitate. I highly recommend it.