Brave New Brain

Brave New Brain : Conquering Mental Illness in the Era of the Genome

3.94 (68 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Nancy Andreasen, a leading neuroscientist who is also Editor-in-Chief of the prestigious American Journal of Psychiatry as well as the winner of the illustrious National Medal of Science, offers here a state-of-the-art look at what we know about the human brain and the human genome-and shows how these two vast branches of knowledge are coming together in a boldly ambitious effort to conquer mental illness. Scientists today know more about the brain than ever before, thanks to new imaging techniques and to discoveries in neuroscience and molecular biology. Andreasen gives us an engaging and readable description of how it all works, from the billions of neurons to the tiny thalamus to the moral monitor in our prefrontal cortex. She also shows the progress made in mapping the human genome, whose 30,000-40,000 genes are almost all active in the brain. In perhaps the most fascinating section of the book, we read gripping stories of the people who develop mental illness, the friends and relatives who share their suffering, the physicians who treat them, and the scientists who study them so that better treatments can be found.This section covers four major disorders-schizophrenia, manic depression, anxiety disorders, and dementia-revealing what causes them, what happens to the mind and brain, and how the illnesses are treated. Finally, the book shows how the powerful tools of genetics and neuroscience will be combined during the next decades to build healthier brains and minds. Andreasen's bestselling The Broken Brain broke new ground in the public understanding of mental illness. Now, by revealing how combining genome mapping with brain mapping can unlock the mysteries of mental illness, she again offers general readers a remarkably fresh perspective on these devastating diseases-their nature, treatment, and possible future prevention.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 380 pages
  • 162.6 x 242.8 x 32.3mm | 694.01g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 22 halftones, 37 line illustrations
  • 0195145097
  • 9780195145090

About Nancy C. Andreasen

Nancy C. Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D., is Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry at The University of Iowa College of Medicine. The Editor-in-Chief of The American Journal of Psychiatry and a member of the task force that developed both the DSM III and DSM IV, she has won numerous awards, has written ten other books and hundreds of articles. Her previous book for general readers, The Broken Brain, was the first to describe the importance of neurobiology to understanding mental illness. She lives in Iowa City and Santa Fe.show more

Review quote

This book is very well written and appropriately pitched for the general educated lay person; it is also an enjoyable read for health professionals and researchers ... This book is certain to be well received and widely read. Heredity, 89show more

Table of contents

Part 1 Broken brains and troubled minds: brave new brain - confronting the burden of mental illness; a waking nightmare - mental illness and ordinary people; broken brains, troubled minds - being blinded by false dichotomies. Part 2 Mind meets molecule: the brain - the mind's dynamic orchestra; mapping the genome - blueprint of life and death; mapping the brain - using neuroimaging to see how the brain thinks. Part 3 The burden of mental illnesses: understanding what mental illnesses are - the past is prologue to progress; schizophrenia - a mind divided; mood disorders - riding the emotional roller coaster; dementias - a death in life; anxiety disorders - the stress regulator goes wild. Part 4 brave new brain: brave new world - conquering mental illness in the era of the genome.show more

Review Text

Our knowledge of the brain has increased enormously in recent years, thanks to breakthroughs in neuroscience, molecular biology and imaging techniques. The cost of mental illnesses is staggering; depression costs society more than any other disease and four mental illnesses are in the top ten of most common ailments. The workings of the brain are described and the complex interaction between mind (mental) and brain (physical) discussed; the whole must be considered rather than the parts. There are compelling stories of those who develop mental illnesses, along with the physicians that treat them and the scientists who study them so that better treatments can be found. Four major disorders - schizophrenia, manic depression, anxiety disorders and dementia - are covered in detail. The final sections ponder the social, moral and economic implications of the latest advances. Nancy Andreasen is a leading neuroscientist, editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Psychiatry and Brave New Brain is an up to date, clear and accessible look at our current understanding of the human brain and mental illness. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

68 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 26% (18)
4 46% (31)
3 24% (16)
2 4% (3)
1 0% (0)
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