Cover image for Brave new brain : conquering mental illness in the era of the genome
Brave new brain : conquering mental illness in the era of the genome
Andreasen, Nancy C.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
xii, 368 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Brave new brain -- A waking nightmare -- Broken brains, troubled minds -- The brain -- Mapping the genome -- Mapping the mind -- Understanding what mental illnesses are -- Schizophrenia -- Mood disorders -- Dementias -- Anxiety disorders -- O brave new world.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RC455.4.G4 A53 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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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 showshow 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 moralmonitor in our prefrontal cortex. She also shows the progress made in mapping the human genome, whose 30,000 to 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 andrelatives 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 themind 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 thesedevastating diseases--their nature, treatment, and possible future prevention.

Author Notes

Nancy C. Andreasen is Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry at The University of Iowa College of Medicine.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Andreasen, a prolific author, editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry, and chair of psychiatry at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, argues that by combining our knowledge of the human genome with that of the human brain we can effectively "wage war" on mental illness. She summarizes what we know about the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of schizophrenia, dementia, and various mood and anxiety disorders. Stressing that these illnesses are multifactorial (caused by both multiple genes and environmental factors), she predicts that the powerful new tools of molecular biology can be successfully applied to mental illness. Like Rita Carter in Mapping the Mind (LJ 2/15/99), which summarizes the current state of medical technology, Andreasen describes those tools along with the neuroimaging techniques that help us to view the functioning brain. Her text is unique in that it covers the fundamentals of neurobiology and at the same time touches on key issues in medical economics, treatment, and prevention. Hypothetical case studies illustrate the progression and impact of mental illness. Written with clarity and sensitivity, this study offers a refreshing, optimistic vision of the future. Suitable for public and academic libraries. Laurie Bartolini, Illinois State Lib., Springfield (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Andreason (Univ. of Iowa College of Medicine) has accomplished a laudable feat in writing this book. Using her knowledge and expertise as a neuroscientist with vast knowledge and experience in the field of psychiatry, she has compiled a book that makes the relationship between biology and psychology clear to the layperson. A logical sequel to her The Broken Brain: The Biological Revolution in Psychiatry (1984), the present volume updates current understanding of how the "broken brain" produces a troubled mind. Not only does this work provide the reader with an understanding of the mechanisms that are believed to underlie mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety, it also discusses the personal and economic impact of such illnesses. The reader who lacks an understanding of the basics of the brain and neuronal functioning need not shy away from this study, since the author provides a review with just those readers in mind. With its comprehensive, user-friendly review of current knowledge of the neurobiological bases of mental illnesses, this entertaining and educational book offers readers at all levels a look inside the brains of the mentally ill. All collections. M. Pilati Rio Hondo College

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Part I Broken Brains and Troubled Minds
Chapter 1 Brave New Brain: Confronting the Burden of Mental Illnessp. 3
Chapter 2 A Waking Nightmare: Mental Illness and Ordinary Peoplep. 9
Chapter 3 Broken Brains, Troubled Minds: Being Blinded by False Dichotomiesp. 25
Part II Mind Meets Molecule
Chapter 4 The Brain: The Mind's Dynamic Orchestrap. 41
Chapter 5 Mapping the Genome: The Blueprint of Life ... and Deathp. 87
Chapter 6 Mapping the Mind: Using Neuroimaging to Observe How the Brain Thinksp. 130
Part III The Burden of Mental Illness
Chapter 7 Understanding What Mental Illnesses Are: The Past Is Prologue to Progressp. 163
Chapter 8 Schizophrenia: A Mind Dividedp. 186
Chapter 9 Mood Disorders: Riding the Emotional Roller Coasterp. 215
Chapter 10 Dementias: A Death in Lifep. 253
Chapter 11 Anxiety Disorders: The Stress Regulator Goes Wildp. 278
Part IV Brave New Brain
Chapter 12 O Brave New World: Conquering Mental Illness in the Era of the Genomep. 317
References and Suggested Readingsp. 345
Indexp. 355