Reviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, DO, MA (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This is a new series focusing on recent clinical trial results. After reading the book and perusing the website www.journals.cambridge.org/jid_PNN, it is unclear to me if this is a book, a peer-reviewed journal, or both. The editor states in the preface, "chapters are solicited continuously and placed online after editing. Online, these chapters are in the complete published and citable format. Annually, chapters are collected into a single volume and published in a book form. (This book.) On the web site, the section "Instructions for Contributors" states "Instructions for contributors not available." Whether this is a book or journal is important, in my opinion, from a research ethics point of view: books do not have to meet the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, which pertain to authorship and contributorship, editorship, peer review, conflicts of interest, privacy and confidentiality, and the protection of human subjects and animals in research. If this is a book with chapters on recent clinical trials and the chapters are treated as if they are manuscripts submitted to a biomedical journal, that would be a significant addition to the scientific literature. If the chapters in the book are not treated as if they are submissions to a journal, then I'm not sure how to judge this book. Nevertheless, this is written and edited by an array of internationally recognized clinician-researchers and has the promise of a significant contribution to psychiatry and neurology."
Purpose: The purpose of this series is to provide "updates of recent clinical trial results, impacts of trials on guidelines and evidenced-based practice, advances in trial methodologies, and the evolution of biomarkers in trials."
Audience: The intended audience includes "practicing neurologists, as well as clinical and translational neuroscientists." Psychiatrists and neuropsychiatrists would also be part of the audience, especially since several of the authors are psychiatrists.
Features: Areas covered include such topics as rivastigamine for dementia in Parkinson disease, minocycline for ALS, liquid fluoxetine for repetitive behaviors in autism, and selegeline for negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Each chapter (study) contains references that pertain to the study. There is a useful subject index at the back of the book as well as an author index. This publication needs to be proofread! For example, in the introductory chapter by the editor, Dr. Cummings, on page 4 it states: "Medical proficiency training program (MPTP) is used to create models for some aspects of parkinsonism." I think Dr. Cummings meant 1-methyl 4-phenyl 1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine.
Assessment: This is a new journal, book, or both the publisher and editor need to clarify what this is. It is potentially a significant contribution to the neurotherapeutic literature, but without the needed clarifications, I cannot assess its relevance.
"Insights provided in this text concerning clinical trials will allow prescribers to feel more confident regarding the medications they prescribe and the quality research on which clinical efficacy has been established. The research is presented in a detailed yet concise and very readable format. The text provides valuable information regarding neuropsychopharmacology research and treatment. It is a well-written and concise read for scientist-practicioners who want an understanding of the clinical trials that support multiple uses of many commonly prescribed agents. It is a must-read for neurologists, psychiatrists, prescribing psychologists, nurse practicioners, and neuroscientists, particularly those interested in clinical issues. Readers who have an interest in the neurobiology of psychiatric issues may be especially interested in this text. This text would be an excellent complement to pharmacology courses because it provides valuable information concerning the drug development process. In addition, this collection of works may facilitate flexible and creative prescribing practices by evaluating agents in populations and for symptoms other than those for which they were initially developed."