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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: William Miles, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book on mood disorders is based on postgraduate courses offered by the European Certificate in Anxiety and Mood Disorders. The course has been accredited by the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry, which has also endorsed this book.
Purpose: The purpose is to offer an advanced biological understanding of mood disorders, and to attempt to bridge the gap between clinical practice and research. Although there are many such textbooks already available, this one is necessary because of the rapid growth in the field of biological psychiatry.
Audience: It is written for clinical psychiatrists, psychiatry residents, psychologists, and psychopharmacologists. It is probably too advanced for medical students.
Features: The book is divided into five parts, and each part into chapters. First, the epidemiology and genetics of mood disorders are reviewed. Then the various syndromes of mood disorders are discussed, using both DSM-IV and ICD-l0 criteria. The underlying biological mechanisms of mood disturbance are discussed in Part III, including a very interesting and topical chapter on how stress leads to an inflammatory response that may exacerbate depression. The last two parts deal with treatment and new areas of research in mood disorders. There are no illustrations, but numerous tables are scattered throughout. An exhaustive list of references is found at the end of each chapter. An index ends the book.
Assessment: I have reviewed many publications on mood disorders over the years, but very few are as thorough and as well written as this excellent book. I have not seen such an exhaustive review of the biological mechanisms of mood disturbance compiled in such a concise and well organized way. This book should be required reading for all psychiatrists and psychiatry residents, as well as for those ignorant few who refuse to believe that mood disorders are a biological illness (if the research and arguments put forth in this book do not convince such skeptics, nothing can). This is an excellent contribution to the field of biological psychiatry.