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Edited by Maria A Ron, Trevor W Robbins. Cambridge: Published by Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2004, £49.95, pp 467. ISBN 0-521-00456-X
This is the second book in the series “Disorders of brain and mind” edited by neuropsychiatrist Maria Ron. Her co-editor for this book is the neuroscientist and cognitive psychologist Trevor Robbins. Together they have produced a formidable compilation of articles written by leaders in their respective fields, themselves included. These describe our current understanding of the neural basis of commonly encountered psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, mood disorder, dementia, personality disorder, and addiction. The structure of the book is a particular strength. First, the format of grouping chapters thematically is retained so that both basic and clinical scientific aspects of particular disorders are covered. Examples include a chapter on how mutations in the tau gene are central to the development of a range of dementias, a chapter that describes how advances in neuropsychological and neuroimaging research has improved early diagnosis and differential diagnosis of the dementias, and a chapter on the scientific study of consciousness coupled with one on how this applies to an understanding of avolition in schizophrenia. Second, by including more generic groupings devoted to neurodevelopment, genetics, and neuroimaging, the methodologies or concepts that are currently proving to be of fundamental importance to the advancement of knowledge in neuropsychiatry are also addressed. Thus this excellent book should provide something of interest to research workers in the clinical neurosciences as well as clinicians who wish to catch up or learn about aspects of neuropsychiatry de novo.