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BOOK REVIEW
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 138  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1036-1037

Depression: From psychopathology to pharmacotherapy - Modern trends in pharmacopsychiatry


Department of Psychopharmacology National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences, Bangalore 560 029, India

Date of Web Publication11-Feb-2014

Correspondence Address:
Chittaranjan Andrade
Department of Psychopharmacology National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences, Bangalore 560 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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How to cite this article:
Andrade C. Depression: From psychopathology to pharmacotherapy - Modern trends in pharmacopsychiatry. Indian J Med Res 2013;138:1036-7

How to cite this URL:
Andrade C. Depression: From psychopathology to pharmacotherapy - Modern trends in pharmacopsychiatry. Indian J Med Res [serial online] 2013 [cited 2019 Oct 21];138:1036-7. Available from: http://www.ijmr.org.in/text.asp?2013/138/6/1036/126927

vol.27, J.F. Cryan, B.E. Leonard, editors (Karger, Basel, Switzerland) 2010. 274 pages. Price: US$ 174.00, EUR 123.00, CHF 148.00

ISBN 978-3-8055-9605-3

This book addresses the biology of depression and antidepressant treatments. The 15 chapters presented under four sections address the endocrinology and neuroimmunology of depression, circadian rhythms and neuroimaging findings in depression, animal models (including genetic models) of depression, 5-HT 2c receptors and glutamate as antidepressant targets, genetics and epigenetics in depression, omega-3 fatty acids as potential antidepressants, and neuroplasticity mechanisms and targets in depression. There are also two clinical chapters on treatment-resistant depression and on optimizing antidepressant therapy.

Though the book is entitled "From Psychopathology to Pharmacotherapy", the absence of psychopathology in its contents makes "From Pathophysiology to Pharmacotherapy" a more appropriate title. This is more a collection of status papers on a particular theme rather than a textbook on the subject. Therefore, the chapters in this book address only a select few topics such as, Endocrine changes in depression which is discussed broadly, whereas, the chapter on the role of a single receptor subtype (5-HT 2c ) in depression is more subject specific.

This book is far too technical and of little relevance to clinicians. The two chapters on clinical issues are too superficial to interest a practising psychiatrist. However, this book is well suited to basic science academicians and researchers in the field, especially those who require a good, critical update on certain aspects of the field that are beyond their area of research and reading.

One of the limitations of this book is that, some, but not all unusual antidepressant approaches have been addressed. For example, S-adenosyl methionine and mifepristone receive no mention at all, and methylfolate is discussed in just one paragraph. Perhaps the focus on pharmacological approaches is the reason why somatic treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation, deep brain stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation are dispensed in just two pages.

Individual chapters have some minor limitations. For example, the chapter on circadian rhythms does not question why melatonin has so far not been demonstrated to have antidepressant action. The chapters on the molecular and cellular basis of antidepressant-induced neuroplasticity are good, but it is surprising that the focus is only on the hippocampus; there are at least two other important structures namely, the amygdala and prefrontal cortex, that should also have received attention.

I was particularly appreciative of the inclusion of a chapter on epigenetics, a field that is gaining in importance but which is largely ignored in the context of depression.

Most, if not all, chapters are well written. The first chapter, which reviews selected aspects of antidepressant compounds, presents a good balance of theory and practice with many perceptive, critical observations. However, many chapters also contain minor mistakes. For example, 5-HT 2c antagonism is stated to release GABA inhibition on norepinephrine and dopamine neurons on page 7, which is the opposite of what was stated on page 5.

Overall the layout of the chapters is good. There are plenty of sections, subsections, tables and figures that make the text easy to read. Given the highly technical contents of some of the chapters, inclusion of more tables would have been helpful to the reader. Conclusively, I see this book more as a reference source on specific topics than as required reading in the field.




 

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