Among today's astounding research discoveries, perhaps the most fascinating is the mapping of the human genome and its implications for a vastly improved understanding of how genes affect our physiology and behavior. With that understanding comes a critical need to establish a diagnostic taxonomy for psychiatric illness that is more precise but still clinically relevant.
This volume responds to that need. It highlights the shortcomings of current categorical diagnoses, such as those used in DSM-IV, for future research needs in behavioral disorders in general and psychiatric genetics in particular.
With a chapter by each distinguished neuroscientist who presented at the 2000 American Psychopathological Association (APPA) meeting, this volume is divided into four sections: Definitional Tensions, which discusses the difficulties with the current categorical diagnostic system; Imaging Psychopathology, which presents research demonstrating how imaging technologies can tremendously improve our illness definitions; Longitudinal Studies, which details what we can learn from epidemiological and other longitudinal studies; and Exploring Alternatives, which discusses the application of dimensional classification systems in genetics research in psychopathology, with a fascinating chapter on using new methodologies for treating subsyndromal or pre-schizophrenia, a taxonomic condition defined herein as "schizotaxia."
This unique collection represents a significant step in developing approaches to classification that will lead to more accurate diagnoses and treatments for patients and a broader range of taxonomic options for researchers. As such, it will also be welcomed by psychiatric clinicians and educators, as well as by anyone interested in genetics and how it governs human behavior.
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John E. Helzer, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry at the Health Behavior Research Center of the University of Vermont School of Medicine in Burlington, Vermont.
James J. Hudziak, M.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine (Division of Human and Medical Genetics) and Director of Child Psychiatry at the University of Vermont School of Medicine in Burlington, Vermont.
ContributorsPrefacePart I: Definitional TensionsChapter 1. Five Criteria for an Improved Taxonomy of Mental DisordersChapter 2. Defining Clinically Significant Psychopathology With Epidemiologic DataChapter 3. Why Requiring Clinical Significance Does Not Solve Epidemiology's and DSM's Validity Problem: Response to Regier and NarrowChapter 4. Psychometric Perspectives on ComorbidityPart II: Imaging PsychopathologyChapter 5. Toward a Neuroanatomical Understanding of Psychiatric Illness: The Role of Functional ImagingChapter 6. Neuroimaging Studies of Mood DisordersChapter 7. Genetic Neuroimaging: Helping to Define Phenotypes in Affective DisordersPart III: Longitudinal StudiesChapter 8. Psychopathology and the Life CourseChapter 9. Detecting Longitudinal Patterns of Alcohol UseChapter 10. Empirically Based Assessment and Taxonomy Across the Life SpanChapter 11. ADHD Comorbidity Findings From the MTA Study: New Diagnostic Subtypes and Their Optimal TreatmentsPart IV: Exploring AlternativesChapter 12. Implications of Genetic Epidemiology for ClassificationChapter 13. Importance of Phenotype Definition in Genetic Studies of Child PsychopathologyChapter 14. Defining Genetically Meaningful Classes of PsychopathologyChapter 15. Schizotaxia and the Prevention of SchizophreniaIndex
I would recommend Defining Psychopathology in the 21st Century to anyone interested in psychiatric research as well as to those who are concerned about and interested in the future of psychiatry. I believe that this book gave me a glimpse of where the field of psychiatry is headed, and I find this exciting. * Benjamin O'Brien, M.D., Psychiatric Services * This book is an informative and provocative update for a clinician or student who cannot read all the journals all the time and might be wondering, 'How are scientific findings distilled into facts that produced the early DSM versions, and what will be the theoretical basis for the next DSM?'. * Ronald M. Solomon, M.D., Journal of Clinical Psychiatry * [R]eaders wanting an exciting 'state of the art' collection about the sorts of studies and thinking likely to shape future editions of the DSM will find this volume to be extremely worthwhile. * Joel Yager, M.D., Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic *
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