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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jeffrey S. Ross, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is the fourth edition of a widely consulted reference textbook of psychopharmacology first published by the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) in 1968. This edition extensively updates the previous 1987 edition and remains authored by the world's leading authorities in psychopharmacology.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a thoroughly comprehensive overview of the preclinical and clinical aspects of psychopharmacology. Although these lofty objectives may sound redundant, there appears to be no other resource as comprehensively presented as this fourth edition. This is the gold-standard reference in this field.
Audience: The intended audience appears to be mainly neuropsychopharmacologists whose predominant work includes either preclinical research or clinical psychopharmacologic treatment. Though dedicated psychotherapists may find it overly inclusive for their needs, it is nevertheless easily understandable by any clinician with a basic biological knowledge of the brain.
Features: The book includes excellent illustrations as well as occasional color photographs of the brain. The majority of the references are new since the last edition in 1987, and represent the salient research literature on the topic. The table of contents and index are comprehensive and logically organized, including three main sections of preclinical, clinical, and special topics. The book appears large and impressive, notably characteristic of an elegant and sophisticated reference textbook.
Assessment: Clearly, this book, written by the world's foremost experts in neuropsychopharmacology, should be considered one of the definitive reference textbooks in this field. It is vastly updated from its predecessor and comes in the midst of an explosion of neuropharmacologic research. It should be considered an essential part of any psychopharmacologist's library, though the career psychotherapist may find it too detailed. Psychiatry residents should also consider buying this book, which will undoubtedly be used extensively as psychiatrists' roles become increasingly narrowed into an exclusive psychopharmacologic domain.