Over the last two decades, molecular genetics and brain imaging have guided efforts to find the causes of schizophrenia. It is becoming increasingly clear that many genes are involved in schizophrenia and that they interact with other factors in very complex ways, which have not yet been elucidated. Neuroimaging techniques have allowed scientists and physicians to examine brain structure, function, and chemistry in living patients with schizophrenia but results so far have been disappointing. No two patients seem to share exactly the same combination of clinical symptoms or physical findings. Yet all have the syndrome recognized as schizophrenia. The author of this accessible, well-written book argues that it is time to set aside the search for a single cause of schizophrenia and focus on the disease's final common pathway. He highlights clues from a wide range of research, including neurotransmitter, psychophysiological, and brain imaging studies. He then describes possibilities for the final common pathway at an understandable level in the context of what is already known about schizophrenia. While there are no preferred models of schizophrenia, a pattern is emerging which implicates those structures in the brain known to be important in integrating perception, cognition, and affect. A better understanding of these processes will be critical for developing more effective treatments. This book will help advance that effort. It will be of great value to psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists, neuroimagers, and basic scientists working in the field of schizophrenia research, and to their students and trainees. It will also be of interest to clinicians and scientists concerned with other neuropsychiatric disorders, and to the families of those diagnosed with schizophrenia.
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Peter Williamson is at University of Western Ontario.Review:
"This is an excellent and comprehensive new book summarizing and synthesizing current findings from multiple disciplines on research in schizophrenia. Any clinician involved in research or the care of patients with this devastating disorder should have the knowledge contained in this book." --Doody's
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