Book review: The Biological Basis of Mental Health (Third edition)

Senior lecturer Nigel Wellman reviews The Biological Basis of Mental Health (Third edition)

5 stars

The Biological Basis of Mental Health (Third edition)

This text has for some time been the most readable and comprehensive volume covering the biological underpinnings of a wide range of mental health and neuropsychiatric disorders across the lifespan.

It ranges from developmental disorders through to the dementias.

This third edition updates and expands the author’s previous work and provides an ideal introduction to nurses and nursing students seeking to develop their understanding of a wide range of human development and behaviour encountered in clinical practice.  

Easy to understand

The author provides very clear and easy to understand explanations of both normal and altered physiology. He defines his terms as he goes along and does not assume that the reader has a sophisticated understanding of biology.

The work opens with useful introductory chapters on the brain, brain development, neural communication, neurotransmitters and receptors and hormones and behaviour.

It then covers genetic disorders affecting mental health and pharmacology and drug abuse before focusing on specific conditions such as schizophrenia, affective and anxiety disorders, epilepsy and the dementias. 

This new edition incorporates many findings from the fast moving field of molecular biology which is beginning to transforming our understanding of these conditions. It is a highly recommended text.

William T. Blows | Routledge | 384pp | £39.99 | ISBN: 9781138900615

Reviewed by Nigel Wellman, senior lecturer in mental health nursing at Oxford Brookes University

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