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Book Review   |    
Antidepressants: New Pharmacological Strategies
David Baron, D.O.
Psychiatric Services 1998; doi:
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edited by Phil Skolnick, M.D.; Totowa, New Jersey, Humana Press, 1997, 257 pages, $99.50

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Antidepressants: New Pharmacological Strategies is a collection of 13 neuroscience papers addressing novel concepts of antidepressant theory not based on the traditional biogenic monoamine hypothesis. The editor, Phil Skolnick, M.D., of the National Institutes of Health, is a respected thought leader in the field of neuroscience and highly qualified in this area of research.

Each of the chapters is actually a unique manuscript, and each is written by a different individual or research team, with a strong international representation. Despite the high quality of the papers presented, which are excellently referenced, there is little or no flow between chapters. In fact, I question whether any attempt was made to coordinate the content of the submissions before going to press.

For the neuroscientist or advanced biological psychiatrist, the book achieves its goal of attempting “to exploit new insights from the laboratory” For the practicing clinical psychiatrist, the book is of limited value and offers very little regarding day-to-day treatment strategies. The mental health provider looking for a cookbook approach to new pharmacotherapeutic strategies should look elsewhere. However, for the advanced psychiatric resident or clinician with a strong neuroscience background, this book offers an interesting collection of cutting-edge neuroscience papers that provide a glimpse into our understanding of the etiology of mood disorders and the pharmacologic management of depression into the 21st century and beyond.

Dr. Baron is medical director and psychiatrist-in-chief at the Kirkbride Center in Philadelphia and clinical professor of psychiatry at Temple University School of Medicine.




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