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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David E. Euler, PhD (Loyola University Medical Center)
Description: This new book provides a factual and theoretical framework to examine the role of the stress and catecholamines in the acute and chronic manifestations of cardiovascular diseases.
Purpose: The purpose is to use a multidisciplinary approach to examine the way in which different types of stress alter symapthoadrenal activity and cardiovascular function. An additional purpose is to examine the mechanisms by which adaptive, homeostatic responses to stress become pathologic.
Audience: The book is targeted for cardiovascular scientists and researchers. Those without some background in the field will find the text cumbersome because of the detailed theoretical constructs and the extensive review of the literature.
Features: The first chapter presents a new homeostatic theory of stress and distress. Subsequent chapters explore the sensory pathways, the central integration, and the effector mechanisms by which stress alters catecholamine release and cardiovascular function. One chapter presents the clinical methods used to assess symapthoadrenal activity, including the latest tracer-kinetic and nuclear scanning techniques. The final chapter presents avenues for future investigation. The book includes numerous diagrams and flow charts that illustrate the organization of the homeostatic defenses that an organism uses to respond to different types of stress.
Assessment: The book is a useful contribution to the medical literature. The author is a recognized expert in the field and provides an extensive review of current investigations as well as his own viewpoints. Although most topics are covered in adequate detail, there are some important omissions. The use of heart rate variability as a noninvasive index of autonomic tone was mentioned only in passing, and there was no mention of the effect of catecholamines on the formation of oxygen-derived free radicals.