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In Search of Madness: Schizophrenia and Neuroscience
by:R. Walter Heinrichs
Over the last two decades, scientific articles on schizophrenia have doubled in number, and prophecies of breakthrough have appeared and receded. The result is a scattered and confusing mass of evidence that is difficult to evaluate. How much progress has really been made? Are the neurological causes of madness truly in sight? This book evaluates the...
Over the last two decades, scientific articles on schizophrenia have doubled in number, and prophecies of breakthrough have appeared and receded. The result is a scattered and confusing mass of evidence that is difficult to evaluate. How much progress has really been made? Are the neurological causes of madness truly in sight? This book evaluates the progress of schizophrenia science by summarizing what is known about how patients with the illness differ from healthy people. The tools of meta-analysis are first explained and then employed to make the strength and consistency of these differences explicit. Beginning with the study of symptoms, then moving through the search for objective disease markers, findings on the cognitive functions, structure, physiology, chemistry, and development of the brain, this book is a journey into the enigma of madness and its science. What emerges is an illness that reveals itself most strongly in thought processes, not biology. As evidence actually becomes weaker and harder to reproduce as research moves from mind to molecule, the harvest of dazzling research techniques turns out to be modest or inconsistent. Schizophrenia is an anomaly at the frontier of mind and brain, but In Search of Madness points the way to its solution.
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