Steven R. Hirsch, Daniel R. Weinberger
Wiley, Feb 24, 2003 - Medical - 768 pages
Schizophrenia is one of the most complex and puzzling diseases to affect mankind. It is the most common of the severe mental illnesses (psychoses) with an estimated prevalence of 0.5 - 1% in the general population and accounts for a very large portion of the day to day workload of the average psychiatrist. 50% of long-term psychiatric patients in mental hospitals are schizophrenic.
There is a great deal of controversy about the causes, diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia with the consequence that a huge amount of research is carried out in the field by psychiatrists, psychologists, neuroscientists and pharmacologists. For the average practising psychiatrist seeing schizophrenics on a regular basis, making sense of the vast body of information on the subject and filtering out what is of clinical relevance can be very difficult. There is a constant stream of new drugs emerging and the newer generation of drugs (the so-called atypicals) is very effective, but often expensive.
The Editors (one American and one British) are both highly respected clinical psychiatrists who are probably the leading experts on schizophrenia from their respective countries and jointly have published almost 150 papers on the subject.
The book consists of four sections; descriptive aspects, causative aspects, physical treatments and psychological/behavioural/social treatments. There will be discussion of the theoretical controversies over symptomatology, classification and aetiology, the relationship of schizophrenia to the other psychoses, the significance of positive and negative symptoms and pre-morbid personality. There will be chapters on organic models of schiziophrenia, neurodevelopmental, genetic and structural studies and the role of high-expressed emotion. The final section will cover social and environmental treatment, the role of the families of schizophrenics and the psychoanalytical therapies. There is a new chapter on the patient's perspective written by a former patient.