Description: This volume in the Handbook of Clinical Neurology series marks a paradigm shift for the field of neurology, in that it now includes psychiatric disorders among brain disorders. When I was a junior faculty member in the late 1980s, I attended a neurology case conference in which the chair of neurology asked at the end of a resident's case presentation of a patient with catatonia, "Is this a neurological disorder or is the patient just crazy?" He obviously wasn't at all interested in the neurology of catatonia. This book is a small step in the attempt to change neurologists' tendency toward categorical thinking about psychopathology. This volume on the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders, written and edited by clinician-scientists, is a welcome addition to the neurology literature.
Purpose: The aim of the book, according to the editors, is to "provide a comprehensive and integrated view of psychiatric care and its current scientific foundations."
Audience: The intended audience appears to be neurologists. However, psychiatrists will most likely be the primary readers of this book.
Features: The 760 information-packed pages cover the neurobiological aspects of most psychiatric disorders. Some of the topics include the history of psychiatry and neuroscience, human functional neuroimaging, animal models, psychoimmunology, mood disorder, anxiety, pain, autistic disorder, personality disorders, Parkinson disease, stroke, Huntington disease, chronic fatigue, brain stimulation therapies, and pharmacotherapies. Each chapter is referenced with relevant citations of the scientific literature.
Assessment: This is an excellent book on the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders and a superb review of the scientific basis of the field. I highly recommend it.