Description: Neurodevelopmental disorders are a group of diagnoses that traditionally included single gene dysfunction with childhood presentations. This term is being expanded to include common psychiatric diagnoses that present across the lifespan as molecular mechanisms are better understood. These disorders can be difficult to treat given that so much is still unknown. Research is constantly being published but results may not be widely known, limiting the efficacy and consistency of providers. As more and more is discovered, it is increasingly important that clinicians be able to incorporate new evidence into their understanding and treatment.
Purpose: The editors intend to provide "the theoretical underpinnings of the neurodevelopmental model and then describe the disorders where this model can be used to guide evaluation and treatment." They hope the book, "by translating recent research for a broad audience, provides a road map" for future researchers as well as clinicians and affected families.
Audience: The stated audience is clinicians treating these patients, including pediatricians, geneticists, neurologists, child and adolescent psychiatrists, primary care physicians, educators, and allied therapists.
Features: The book covers single gene disorders such as fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, Rett syndrome, RASopathies, Angelman syndrome, muscular dystrophies, and phenylketonuria as well as complex genetic disorders like Down syndrome, schizophrenia, ADHD, depression, and autism spectrum disorders. Each chapter includes a brief overview of the disorder, the DSM diagnostic criteria, neurobiological abnormalities, epigenetics, diagnostic methods, related disorders, and current treatments. There is also a discussion of experimental treatments in animal models and clinical trials.
Assessment: This is a well-done summary of current research into the treatments for numerous neurodevelopmental disorders. It is important reading for clinicians who treat children with these disorders.