Psychoneuroendocrinology: The Scientific Basis of Clinical Practice

Psychoneuroendocrinology: The Scientific Basis of Clinical Practice

by Owen M. Wolkowitz

The mind-body connection is one of the hottest topics in medicine today, documented by enormous amounts of data regarding hormone effects on the brain and behavior.

Yet it is only now -- with the debut of this thought-provoking volume -- that we find an up-to-date, sophisticated reference that focuses on the clinical relevance of behavioral endocrinology and


The mind-body connection is one of the hottest topics in medicine today, documented by enormous amounts of data regarding hormone effects on the brain and behavior.

Yet it is only now -- with the debut of this thought-provoking volume -- that we find an up-to-date, sophisticated reference that focuses on the clinical relevance of behavioral endocrinology and is written for practicing clinicians and researchers.

This wide-ranging volume shows how the principles and emerging findings of psychoneuroendocrinology can inform modern clinical practice and lead to new breakthroughs in future science and practice. Here, leading authorities -- internationally respected researchers and practicing clinicians -- review empirical findings in their areas of expertise, highlight the clinical significance of these findings, and provide, wherever appropriate, clinical guidelines for the management of patients.

Beginning with a lively history of psychoneuroendocrinology (including its many false starts), this book continues on to discussions of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis hormone system, the gonadal hormone system, and the thyroid hormone system from each of the three paths generally used for psychoneuroendocrinological investigation: • Alterations in endogenous hormone levels observed in primary psychiatric illness• Psychiatric concomitants or sequelae of hormonal dysregulation in primary endocrinologic illness• Behavioral effects of exogenously administered hormones or hormone antagonists (both the study of the side effects of hormonal medications and the use of hormones and hormone antagonists as psychotropic medications)

An unmatched diversity of topics reveals the full breadth and depth of this volume: diabetes mellitus, corticosteroid effects on mood and cognition, Cushing's syndrome and Addison's disease, oral contraceptives and estrogen replacement therapy, psychiatric illness associated with the menstrual cycle and perimenopause, postpartum behavioral changes, anabolic/androgenic steroid use, and a thorough review of thyroid function in psychiatric disorders.

Particularly fascinating are sections on the role of neuropeptides and hypothalamic-releasing factors in psychiatric illness, the use of laboratory tests and imaging procedures in evaluating hormonal function in psychiatric patients, the place of newer "alternative" hormonal medications such as melatonin and DHEA in therapeutics, and a provocative and compelling final chapter on the role stress plays in precipitating illness.

Designed for both clinician and researcher-scientist, this richly informative guide will also prove an invaluable addition to graduate courses in neuroscience, neuroendocrinology, the biological basis of behavior, and consultation psychiatry. Neuroscientists/neurologists, endocrinologists, obstetricians/gynecologists, internists, family practitioners, nurses, and interested laypersons round out the wide audience for this remarkable volume.

Editorial Reviews

4 Stars! from Doody
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Corey Goldstein, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is an excellent overview of the interface between psychiatry and endocrinology and is packed with information that is not only helpful to the researcher, but also to the average clinician.
Purpose: According to the authors, the purpose is to show how principles and emerging findings in psychoneuroendocrinology can inform modern clinical practice and lead to new breakthroughs in future practice. These are worthy objectives, without question. The book does a fine job of meeting the objectives in an easy-to-read format that is directly applicable to the clinician.
Audience: The book is written for clinicians as well as researcher-scientists. The introduction to the book further breaks these categories down to psychiatrists, neurologists, endocrinologists, obstetrician/gynecologists, primary care physicians, psychologists, nurses, and advanced students. I would agree that this book has a very wide audience because of its overlap of many disciplines. The authors are highly credible and leading authorities within their disciplines.
Features: The book covers the various hormonal categories and their interplay with psychiatric symptomatology, laboratory testing, and imaging. The last part of the book discusses the role of stress and neuroendocrine function. The book is particularly good at getting its points across in a practical format and it can be used as a textbook or as a reference. One of the book's strengths is part IV, which covers thyroid hormones in nice detail without the dryness that could be associated with a book of this nature. Certain parts of the book should be essential reading for the average psychiatrist in practice.
Assessment: I have not seen a book on this topic that is so relevant, easy to read, and clinically useful on a daily basis. It is packed with information on the important interplay between psychiatry and endocrinology, with a good amount of neurology. This book will be a valuable resource in my clinical and research practice.
Psychiatric Times

In an era when our profession must prove uniqueness of our skill set, as distinct from psychologists' skills, every psychiatrist should be versed in the topics covered in the book.... The chapters presented here review and then summarize clinically relevant pearls so that the practicing psychiatrist can give the best current knowledge to patients and non-psychiatric colleagues. This volume is most highly recommended with the psychiatrist primarily in mind. Nurse practitioners, researchers, psychologists, residents and medical students would also benefit. Most will probably refer to it frequently as our practice demands consistent, highest competency in the relationships between endocrine function and behavioral disturbances.


As a whole, this book is certainly the first comprehensive integrated approach of modern psychoneuroendocrinology. It is a must for not only graduates but also basic and clinical researchers who need to understand better their own specific field of interest and are willing to play a more active role in holistic perspectives of human functioning and dysfunctioning.

Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic

This authoritative volume, compiled and written by the leading lights in these fields, will serve as a highly useful source for those new to the area and as a superb review for those needing a refresher or update. Each of the 19 clearly written and highly referenced chapters provides historical context for the topic under consideration, offers sufficient basic biological underpinning and description to clearly explain the subjects at hand and to show how they fit into the larger schemes of biological psychiatry, and presents clinical and treatment implications of the discussions.... Readers will be able to turn to this volume for individual chapters or, alternatively, easily use the text for a graduate, post-graduate, or residency level seminar.


This fine textbook, edited by two eminent experts in the field with contributions from many others of equal stature, is a readable, practical, and well-researched volume that begins with a fascinating history of psychoneuroendocrinology and guides the reader through the various components of the endocrine system as they relate to psychopathology.

Product Details

American Psychiatric Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
File size:
5 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Robert N. Golden

Psychoneuroendocrinology: The Scientific Basis of Clinical Practice is an extremely timely and important book that is comprehensive in scope. This text should be on the bookshelf of every clinician and researcher... but it won't stay on the shelf for long! It is extremely readable and provides important clinical insights built on an integrated presentation of basic and clinical psychoneuroendocrinology.

Stephen M. Stahl

Drs. Wolkowitz and Rothschild have edited a well-organized volume that covers the waterfront of psychoneuroendocrinology. Contributions from key opinion leaders in the field range from 'hot topics' such as CRF and gonadal hormones (estrogen and androgen) to the classics such as thyroid and the HPA axis, with many others between. Notably oriented towards integrating scientific findings with their clinical implications, this text will satisfy both the scholar and the thoughtful clinician.

John G. Csernansky

This new book is an exhaustive and scholarly review of the rapidly growing field of psychoneuroendocrinology. The contributors go far beyond older concepts of 'stress physiology' and 'windows into the brain' to demonstrate specific neurobiological links between hormones, neurotransmitter systems, and the behavioral pathology of psychiatric disorders. All of the contributors to this volume are widely known experts in their areas, and each chapter can stand alone as a comprehensive treatment of the subject. The volume has both impressive breadth and depth, and by compiling the varied topics in this book, Drs. Wolkowitz and Rothschild demonstrate that the field of psychoneuroendocrinology has great promise for helping to illuminate and resolve the artificial dichotomy between mind and body. Everyone interested in understanding the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders should have this book in their library.

Yvette Sheline

In this comprehensive and scholarly volume, Drs. Wolkowitz and Rothschild seek to bridge the gap between encyclopedic coverage of psychoneuroendocrinology and clinical practice. With an internationally acclaimed panel of contributors, alterations in endogenous hormone levels observed in primary psychiatric illness, psychiatric sequelae of hormone dysregulation in endocrine illness and behavioral effects of hormones and hormone antagonists are delineated. The resulting chapters review not only the latest scientific findings but also highlight the clinical significance and should be illuminating for the practicing clinician as well as the researcher-scientist.

David Spiegel

Owen Wolkowitz and Anthony Rothschild, two leading clinical investigators, have assembled the best and the brightest of their colleagues to provide a lucid and authoritative state-of-the-art review of psychoneuroendocrinology. This book demonstrates that endocrinology is no longer a sideshow in psychiatry but belongs in the main arena: hormone dysregulation accompanies psychiatric illness and may produce it, and powerful novel treatments are emerging that utilize hormones and hormone antagonists. This book is biological psychiatry at its best.

Samuel S.C. Yen

Psychoneuroendocrinology is a hybrid discipline encompassing psychiatry, neurosciences, and endocrinology. The remarkable advances in molecular and cellular biology together with the discovery of more neuropeptides and their receptors have opened new prospectives and challenges. The editors of this book should be congratulated for their own contributions and for efforts in identifying expertise that skillfully translates the basic science to human disorders. This book, therefore, is notable both for the progress that has been achieved and for mapping of vast frontiers yet to be explored.

Regina C. Casper

Though we think of hormones mostly as products and messengers across endocrine glands, the endocrine system is actually tightly embedded within the neuronal network of the Central Nervous System. The brain functions as both, its command center and as an endocrine organ. In Psychoneuroendocrinology: The Scientific Basis of Clinical Practice Wolkowitz and Rothschild present persuasive evidence that all organismic functions in health and ever so subtly in disease are modulated by the neuroendocrine system. This up to date and excellent collection of chapters written each by experts provides the best text available to launch psychoneuroendocrinology into the mainstream of psychiatric education on par with psychopharmacology.

George P. Chrousos

This is a truly useful, easy to read, comprehensive book, in which the scientific basis of psychoneuroendocrinology, from its history to its clinical implications and applications, is eloquently provided. The chapters, written by leaders in psychoneuroendocrinology who have made significant contributions to the field, are logically arrayed in a conceptual segue that flows uninterruptedly. The profound developments in psychoneuroendocrinology in the last two decades have provided a scientific basis for understanding the physiology and pathophysiology of many human states and diseases that cut across the traditional boundaries of medical specialties and subspecialties, making this book a useful companion not only to psychiatrists and psychologists, but also to family practitioners, internists, and pediatricians, as well as science writers and the educated layman.

S. Craig Risch

This book represents a much needed and timely 'state of the art' review of the field encompassing 'psychoneuroendocrinology'. Each chapter is written by the current leaders in the area and is unusually up to date for a book format. The Editors have done a superb job of integrating the flow and information contained in the different chapters so as to allow easy reading. This area has attracted an unusual amount of interest not only in the scientific literature but in the lay press as well and will help readers answer their patients' questions in diverse areas. The information contained in this book has immediate applications to current clinical practice both for patient education and medical practice.

Ian M. Goodyer

This scholarly and comprehensive text summarizes advances that have been made in the last three decades in the relations between hormones and psychopathology. The volume is essential reading for clinicians, neuroscientists and students interested in the biological basis of psychiatry.

Meet the Author

Owen M. Wolkowitz, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Psychopharmacology Assessment Clinic at the University of California, San Francisco, Medical Center. He was awarded the Curt P. Richter Prize in 1992 by the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology for his contributions to the field.

Anthony J. Rothschild, M.D., is the Irving S. and Betty Brudnick Professor and Director of Clinical Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and its clinical partner, UMass Memorial Medical Center, in Worchester, Massachusetts.

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