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The Molecular Foundations of Psychiatry

Steven E. Hyman, M.D., and Eric J. Nestler, M.D., Ph.D.

  • ISBN 978-0-88048-353-7
  • Item #8353

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This text offers a comprehensive introduction to molecular biology, genetics, and neurobiology relevant to psychiatry. Generously illustrated chapters are organized to be read at both an introductory and a more advanced level.

Both beginners and advanced professionals will benefit from this text's discussion of how psychotropic drugs work and how gene-environment interactions may contribute to the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders. The authors demonstrate how molecular investigations in psychiatry will revolutionize the field by leading to improved diagnostic testing, to new and more effective treatments, and ultimately to the development of preventive measures for mental illness.


  • Introduction to molecular biology. Overview of synaptic neurotransmission. Overview of neuropsychopharmacology. Mechanisms of neural plasticity. Drug-induced neural plasticity: how psychotropic drugs work. Overview of psychiatric genetics. Toward a new psychiatric neuroscience.

This brief but important book fills a gap between clinical psychiatry and the rapidly evolving field of molecular neuroscience.—New England Journal of Medicine

I enthusiastically recommend this concise text to anyone interested in how molecular biology may contribute to advances in psychiatry in future decades. Undoubtedly, this book will be used extensively by medical students and psychiatry residents who will want to be conversant with the molecular foundations of psychiatry as they prepare to practice in the next millennium.—The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences

An outstanding job and makes data accessible to anyone unfamiliar with modern cellular and molecular biology. It is an excellent book.—Choice

The Molecular Foundations of Psychiatry by Steve Hyman and Eric Nestler provides a remarkably clear, broadly accessible, and beautifully illustrated overview of the methods and conceptual approaches of molecular biology as it relates to psychiatry. This is unequivocally one of the most important books published in recent years as it demystifies and places in perspective this powerful new way of understanding brain and behavior.—Joseph T. Coyle, M.D., Eben S. Draper Professor of Psychiatry and of Neuroscience, Chair of the Consolidated Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

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