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Psychopharmacology and Psychobiology of Ethnicity

Edited by Keh-Ming Lin, M.D., M.P.H., Russell E. Poland, Ph.D., and Gayle Nakasaki, M.S.W.

  • ISBN 978-0-88048-471-8
  • Item #8471

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Until several decades ago, few studies were conducted on the differences among individual responses to pharmacologic agents. Then, in the 1950s and 1960s, enzyme induction was discovered, and it became apparent that the intake of certain foods or drugs could adaptively modify drug metabolism and, therefore, drug response. Now researchers are beginning to realize how both adaptive and genetic forces may cause pharmacological distinctions among human populations once separated by distance or geographical boundaries.

Psychopharmacology and Psychobiology of Ethnicity provides a unique overview of how ethnically defined populations respond to psychoactive drugs. Its renowned contributors review and summarize our current knowledge of ethnic differences and similarities among patients in response to psychotropic drugs.


  • Introduction and Overview.

    Introduction: psychopharmacology, psychobiology, and ethnicity. Overview: the interface between psychobiology and ethnicity. 'Nonbiological' issues affecting psychopharmacotherapy: cultural considerations.

    Ethnicity and Psychopharmacology.

    Ethnicity and the pharmacology of tricyclic antidepressants. Ethnicity and differential responses to benzodiazepines. Interethnic variation in response to lithium therapy among African-American and Asian-American populations. Influence of ethnicity on reduced haloperidol concentrations in blood. Haloperidol and reduced haloperidol plasma concentrations in different ethnic populations and interindividual variabilities in haloperidol metabolism. Tardive dyskinesia: cross-cultural perspectives. Genetic polymorphisms of alcohol-metabolizing enzymes related to alcohol sensitivity and alcoholic diseases.

    Ethnicity and Psychobiology.

    Ethnicity and biological markers. Biopsychosocial perspective on depression in African-Americans. Clinical and epidemiologic studies of dementias: cross-ethnic perspectives. Afterword.

About the Authors

Keh-Ming Lin, M.D., M.P.H., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Research Center on the Psychobiology of Ethnicity, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Research and Education Institute, Inc., in Torrance, California.

Russell E. Poland, Ph.D., is a Research Pharmacologist at the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Research Center on the Psychobiology of Ethnicity, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Research and Education Institute, Inc. in Torrance, California.

Gayle Nakasaki, M.S.W., is Assistant Director of the Research Center on the Psychobiology of Ethnicity at Harbor-UCLA Research and Education Institute, Inc., in Torrance, California.

The terms groundbreaking and pioneering are hyperbolic staples of the book reviewing trade. Thus, when a work appears that truly breaks new and important ground and does indeed pioneer, a grateful and admiring reviewer may fall back upon more simple and direct praise of its many virtues.—Marvin Karno, M.D., Director, Division of Social Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine

Excellent overviews along with stimulating discussions examining fresh research data are skillfully brought together in this well written text. This combination will appeal to clinician and researcher alike, serving as an important source of reference for all psychiatrists working with patients from various cultural origins. In my opinion, these pages represent the most authoritative compendium ever written on the subject. I commend the editor of the progress in psychiatry series for his foresight in placing this here to fore neglected subject in the forefront of the specialty.—Javier I. Escobar, M.D., Professor and Chairman (Acting), Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Psychopharmacology and Psychobiology of Ethnicity has a good deal to recommend in it. The territory it sets out to explore is new and unfamiliar to many readers and yet vitally important to almost any clinician. The volume succeeds in distilling clinical relevance from laboratory science at the same time that it argues for a fuller appreciation of related social and cultural issues such as poverty and crime that undoubtedly impact medication response.—Hospital and Community Psychiatry

This is a superb volume. It goes from the general to the specific in an unusually logical and orderly manner. The collection provides a real service to the field by alerting us to the many levels on which ethnicity should be considered in relation to psychopharmacology and psychobiology.—William Z. Potter, M.D., Ph.D., Chief, Section on Clinical Pharmacology, Experimental Therapeutics Branch, National Institute of Mental Health

This is a book that will be most helpful to psychiatrists involved in psychopharmacology with minority populations.—READINGS: A Journal of Reviews and Commentary in Mental Health

This is must reading for clinicians, teachers, and researchers with particular interest and skill in psychopharmacology, cultural psychiatry, neuropsychiatry, and biological psychiatry.—The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

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