Book Reviews

Network Meta-Analysis: Evidence Synthesis with Mixed Treatment Comparison

"Systematic reviews and meta-analyses, being at the intersection of clinical medicine, epidemiology, statistics, and translational research, arekeymethodologies for the practice of evidence-based medicine. Traditional meta-analytical methods, however, pertain to pairwise comparisons between 2 interventions, thus only partially providing evidence that patients, clinicians, and policy-makers need in order to make informed decisions or public health recommendations regarding prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment." READ MORE... - Reviewed by Orestis A. Panagiotou, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD. Published in the American Journal of Epidemiology

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Analysis of Kinetic Models of Chemical Reaction Systems. Value Approach

"This subject of this book is the systematic analysis of kinetic models of complex reactions, with emphasis on chain reactions. The intent of the authors is to provide the conceptual background for the use of numerical models to evaluate molecular kinetic data in terms of mechanistic schemes. The book concludes with an explanation of the kinetics software package, VALKIN." READ MORE... - Frederick T. Greenaway, Professor of Chemistry at Clark University

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Psychiatry on the Edge

"Dr. Ronald Pies latest book, Psychiatry on the Edge, is a masterful collection of his writings. In addition to having been editor of Psychiatric Times, Dr. Pies is a prolific scholar who has written about topics ranging from psychopharmacology, medical causes of psychiatric illnesses, ethics, Judaism, Buddhism, Stoicism, cognitive-behavior therapy, and poetry. In this volume, he explores how we can begin to understand what psychiatry is and what it is not. At a time when our field is under attack from many quarters, it is critically important to be able to discuss what it is that we do as psychiatrists in a non-defensive and intellectually rigorous manner. In order to do so it is helpful to critically view our field from different vantage points and prisms.

Dr. Pies engages the reader in a thoughtful review of relevant philosophy, drawing upon original source material. On a process level, we are taught about philosophic principles salient to our field. For those of us who never took philosophy (or who are a little rusty), we are treated to a highly educational and enjoyable overview. How best to learn about philosophy than to relate it to our own field and what better way to learn about psychiatry than to draw upon philosophy as a field of thought that is different than our usual intellectual framework! This book offers the reader an intellectual opportunity to learn (or relearn) philosophic principles and, by applying the basics of rational philosophic thought, be able to critically explore the very nature of psychiatry, including the many misunderstandings and negative polemic offered about our field in the popular press or when we are asked existential questions by our patients and others.

Dr. Pies is an exceptional author and scholar, able to draw upon many different topic areas and write in an enjoyable manner, which exemplifies such fantastic “synthetic thought.” This volume helps focus our attention on the central vexing issue our field faces: how do we embrace an evidence based, scientifically driven mindset while simultaneously maintaining the art of medicine, and the critical empathic connection with our patients, both of which are necessary for treating the hallmarks of disease – suffering and incapacity. Pies offers the concept of “polythetic pluralism,” which embraces the world of both medical science and the healing arts.

The essay “Can Psychiatry be Both a Medical Science and a Healing Art? The case for Polythetic Pluralism” should be read by all psychiatric providers. The book also goes a long way in debunking the belief that psychiatry is not scientifically based, reminding us that mental health signs and symptoms are as real as the headaches that a neurologist treats. The fact that mental phenomena are subjectively experienced does not detract from the validity of symptoms representing disease. As an example, affect and mood can be assessed in a reliable manner and can reflect valid distress and illness despite being subjectively experienced. Logical positivism is put in a safe perspective that does not allow it to crowd out the very meaning of psychiatric illness.

Dr. Pies is a very wise physician who shares his knowledge and insights with true generosity. In addition to learning about philosophic thinking, he shares insights into many topics including health care as a basic human right, psychiatrist participation in executions and interrogations, gun control, and internet ethics, to name a few. Each section left me with many new ideas and I was often awe inspired.

This is a thinking person’s collection, with much to learn, enjoy, and share with each other. Psychiatry on the Edge develops a dialog which helps us define who we are and what we do as psychiatrists, critical in understanding our field and sharing it with others. I highly recommend this contribution as the reader will be rewarded with much knowledge and many deep insights."
- Jeffrey S. Barkin MD, DFAPA, Portland, Maine, US

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Journey through the World of Malaria

"The book, Journey through the World of Malaria, is passionately written, and one of the few publications rooted in a disease endemic country. The book is comprehensively covering all aspects of malariology from history to future prospects (control and elimination) and pathogenesis to epidemiology. It is trying to address recent developments in the field of malaria and includes sections on emerging drug resistance and vaccine development. The section on diagnosis is a bit limited and does not include novel approaches such a molecularly biology. The nicely illustrated book has an extensive bibliography for further reading and reference. It is well designed for MSc and PhD students (Biology/Medicine) and all those who are interested in Malaria. It is a great resource for those who are teaching in the field of infectious diseases, and malaria in particular. Be a curious traveler and go on this exciting trip in the World of Malaria.” - Dr. Henk Schallig, Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Psychoanalysis and Complexity

"The book of Dr. Lenti is to be considered as a considerable effort on the part of the author to try to establish an epistemological platform that would support a scientific point of view the evolution of the psychoanalytic theories from Freud's drive theory to the theory that today we might call the theory of affections according to James Grotstein. His intellectual commitment marries our attention and our solidarity of psychoanalysts, I am convinced that we really have to thank him for the publication of this book." - Giuseppe Ballauri

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High Order Boundary Value Problems: Existence, Localization and Multiplicity Results

"This very interesting book is devoted to the study of higher order boundary value problems. The main tool utilized throughout the volume is the method of upper and lower solutions. Of particular interest is the fact that in many cases the authors give an explicit construction of the upper and lower solution. The authors illustrate how this location tool can be utilized to gain qualitative information regarding the solutions: existence, multiplicity, monotonicity. Another nice feature of the book is that the methodology is applied also to real world phenomena: the London Millenium bridge and the periodic oscillations of the axis of a satellite. Overall the book is fairly easy to read and would be helpful for graduate students and young researchers willing to learn more on this method." - Gennaro Infante, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Calabria, Italy

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Advances in Economics and Optimization: Collected Scientific Studies Dedicated to the Memory of L. V. Kantorovich

"The book is devoted to the outstanding Soviet scientist Leonid Kantorovich (1912-1986) - well known Russian mathematician and economist. Nowadays he is known mainly by his works in application of mathematics to economics, started in 1939 and marked in 1975 by memorial Nobel prize in economics (together with American economist Tjalling Koopmans)." READ MORE... - Vladimir Mazalov

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Pacing in Sport and Exercise: A Psychophysiological Perspective

"This excellent book is a “must read” for coaches, coach educators and exercise specialists alike. It is a practical text which uses the principles of pacing to explain how training can be structured and monitored to ensure the maximum performance gains for the athlete/exerciser." - Dr Ron Butterly, Leeds Metropolitan University

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Relationship Paradox: The Spiritual Quest for Union and Freedom

"Dr. Kendell Thornton's book is an insightful and engaging study of the psychology of relationships. He explains the paradoxes of relationships,such as why we hurt the ones we love and why we want what we cannot have, in ways that are both interesting and profound. Understandable and useful for psychologists and general readers alike, Relationship Paradox is a much needed addition to the relationship science literature, and a book that can help anyone gain a deeper understanding of the most important things in our lives our personal relationships." - William Indick, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, Dowling College, Oakdale, NY, USA

"Relationship Paradox does double-duty: a concise overview of the scholarly research on relationships, and original insights from Dr. Thornton on the essence of great relationships integrating ideas across many areas within psychology. Highly recommended!" - Marcus C. Tye, Ph.D., Sexuality & Our Diversity: Integrating Culture with the Biopsychosocial (in preparation for late 2012 / early 2013 release), Professor of Psychology, Dowling College, Oakdale, NY, USA

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Neuro-Immune Interactions in the Adult Central Nervous System

"Recent studies indicate that inflammatory cells and immunological cytokines modulate brain functions and diseases. This is a very useful book for not only students, but also post-docs and even professors, to learn recent progress in this research field. Readers will find various information about neuro-immune interactions in the adult central nervous system, from basic biology to clinical application. Chapters of this book have been written by the experts in neuroscience and/or immunology. As a researcher working on adult neurogenesis, I was particularly interested in Chapter 5 "Neuro-Immune Interactions in Neural Stem Cells of the Postnatal Subventricular Zone," which has been contributed by Dr. Oscar Gonzalez-Perez, the Editor of this book, and his colleagues. They have carefully and clearly summarized recent studies on immunological molecules that control the function of neural stem cells under physiological and pathological conditions. Hopefully this book will give readers some new ideas and contribute to the advancement of interdisciplinary research involving neuroscience and immunology." - Kazunobu Sawamoto, Ph.D., Department of Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Institute of Molecular Medicine

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