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Book Review

Schizophrenia: The Final Frontier. A Festschrift for Robin M. Murray

Carl Salzman, MD

Published: June 15, 2012

Schizophrenia: The Final Frontier. A Festschrift for Robin M. Murray

edited by Anthony S. David, Shitij Kapur, Peter McGuffin. In Book Series The Maudsley. Psychology Press/Taylor & Francis, 2011, 396 pages, $47.99 (hardcover).

Robin Murray is one of the world’s best known and respected schizophrenia researchers. In celebration of his retirement as Head of the Department of Psychiatry of the Maudsley-Institute of Psychiatry in London, a Festschrift in his honor was held in November of 2009 and the presentations were recently published. The resulting volume, Schizophrenia: The Final Frontier, is a glorious compilation of this celebration of a distinguished internationally renowned Professor of Psychiatry with a list of authors who span a "who’s who" of contemporary schizophrenia research. There is little doubt that this would be a useful volume for any clinician or researcher who would like an up-to-date review the theory, research, and treatment of schizophrenia, with peeks into the future regarding new research and treatment approaches.

The list of chapters, divided into 6 basic sections, is enough to whet any scholarly appetite: "Development," "Neuroscience," "Neuroimaging," "Genetics," "Cognition," "Social Psychiatry," and "Treatment." Each chapter within the sections is carefully laid out and comprehensive and concludes with an exhaustive bibliography. Colored plates (primarily of imaging studies) are also provided.

For those who are relatively unfamiliar with Professor Murray’s career, a personal introduction by Dan Weinberger introduces the volume, and 2 afterwords are very interesting: a biographical note on Robin Murray and an annotated bibliography of his "Top 12 Publications" written by Murray himself. These 2 brief appendices are wonderful to read.

This book is a must read for researchers in schizophrenia, but will also be useful to those clinicians and students who continue to bring treatment and hope to those suffering from one of our most difficult disorders. There is hope in this research, as well as a useful history of the change in understanding the disease from blaming mothers and families to examining the brain and its interaction with the environment. Let us hope that the contributors to this wonderful volume will continue the march of progress toward better and more available treatments for this terrible brain disease.

Carl Salzman, MD

Author affiliation: Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Potential conflict of interest: None reported.

Volume: 73

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