Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific Basis

Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific Basis

Author: Stephen M. Stahl

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


Publish Date: May 27, 2013

ISBN-10: 1107686466

Pages: 626

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Psychiatric illnesses have a neurobiological basis and are primarily treated by pharmacological agents; understanding each of these, as well as the relationship between them, is essential in order to select appropriate treatment for a patient. The field of psychopharmacology has experienced incredible growth; it has also experienced a major paradigm shift from a limited focus on neurotransmitters and receptors to an emphasis as well upon brain circuits, neuroimaging, genetics, and signal transduction cascades.

The following unmet needs and professional practice gaps regarding mental health were revealed following a critical analysis of activity feedback, expert faculty assessment, literature review, and through new medical knowledge:

Mental disorders are highly prevalent and carry substantial burden that can be alleviated through treatment; unfortunately, many patients with mental disorders do not receive treatment or receive suboptimal treatment.

There is a documented gap between evidencebased practice guidelines and actual care in clinical practice for patients with mental illnesses.

This gap is due at least in part to lack of clinician confidence and knowledge in terms of appropriate usage of the therapeutic tools available to them. To help address clinician performance gaps with respect to diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders, quality improvement efforts need to provide education regarding (1) the fundamentals of neurobiology as it relates to the most recent research regarding the neurobiology of mental illnesses; (2) the mechanisms of action of treatment options for mental illnesses and the relationship to the pathophysiology of the disease states; and (3) new therapeutic tools and research that are likely to affect clinical practice.

Learning objectives

  • After completing this activity, participants should be better able to apply fundamental principles of neurobiology to the assessment of psychiatric disease states differentiate the neurobiological targets for psychotropic medications
  • link the relationship of psychotropic drug mechanism of action to the pathophysiology of disease states
  • identify novel research and treatment approaches that are expected to affect clinical practice

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