In a relatively brief, inviting Preface, Tom Ban recounts the history of research in European psychopathology during the 20th century. He details the contributions o f many of its leading figures and covers ground unfamiliar to many American psychiatrists. These early workers arrive at different formulations of depression, different diagnostic systems and different treatments. Of specific interest is the development of “phenomenologic psychopathology” referencing the roles of Karl Jaspers and Kurt Schneider, noting that they reopened the science in a more enlightened context. The new antidepressants have clearly shaken the approaches to treatment. Such earlier theoretical concepts have been set aside as clinicians adopt a more practical trial and error approach with the new drugs and show less concern for lessons in this historical sphere. Ban is more at home in that context because the approach which relies less on ideas about etiology, provides the foundation for the methodology he will use in the book to “deconstruct major depression, (to) open the path in the study of the biology and genetics of the different depressive subtypes” In so doing he hopes to achieve a “personalized medicine” capable of individualizing the treatment approach for each depressed patient. Ban’s approach will attempt to provide psychiatrists with a new context within which to work. One can look forward to a more complete blueprint for this strategy in the text that follows.
Martin M. Katz
July 25, 2013
I am thankful to Dr. Petrie that he focused on the unique catecholaminergic activity enhancer (CAE) effect of (-)-deprenyl, which is unrelated to MAO-B inhibition and explains why an enhancer substance, like (-)-deprenyl, improves cognition, attention, memory and reaction times, and brings about subjective feeling of increased vitality and energy.
Since, to motivate clinicians to think over this new line of (-)-deprenyl research was my main aim when writing this book, I am especially pleased with Dr. Petrie's opinion: "For those of us interested in treatment options in geriatric health and disease, the drug deserves serious reevaluation."
December 26, 2013
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