Mind-body interactions have been the subject of debate for many generations. However, it is only in recent years that these interactions have become the subject of rigorous scientific enquiry. Advances in our understanding of the stress process, the endocrine and immune systems and the methodologies used to investigate these phenomena have resulted in an explosion of research activity in the field known as Psychoneuroimmunology.
This book presents an up to date account of the human evidence in this field. The first three chapters introduce the reader to the biological systems at the heart of mind/body interactions and the methods used to investigate them. Thereafter, each chapter deals with a separate clinical entity; examining the theoretical basis for mind/body interactions; the associated empirical evidence and directions for future research. With each chapter written by international experts in the field, it provides the reader with an up to date account of the research evidence in the new and rapidly evolving field of Psychoneuroimmunology.
Reviewer:Pamela Vergara- Rodriguez, MD(Rush University Medical Center)
Description:This 350-page paperback serves as a broad overview of the most commonly reviewed psychoneuroimmunologic topics in the medical literature today. Each of the 13 chapters is authored by a leading writer in the field which substantiates the quality of the material presented.
Purpose:The purpose, although evident for most any reader interested in psychoneuroimmunology, is never stated as there is no preface. One may imagine that the purpose is simply to provide a current review of the literature in psychoneuroimmunology.
Audience:The material is predominantly geared towards individuals in medical and research fields who are looking for a review of the mind-body interaction. The audience may include physicians, nurses, psychologists, and medical and scientific researchers.
Features:In the first three chapters, the book establishes the basic interactions between mind and body based on the study of psychoneuroimmunology. Thereafter follow 10 distinct chapters, each covering a different area within psychoneuroimmunology ranging from HIV, cancer, wound healing to cardiovascular disease and ageing. Each chapter first reviews the basic biological mechanisms that describe the potential interactions between stress and disease manifestation. Then the clinical evidence for the established connection is presented. Each chapter ends with comments on the future direction of research and then at least 2-3 pages of references. Some chapters offer illustrations of cellular interactions as well as tables reviewing the current evidence available within each field.
Assessment:Although this book serves as a wonderful collection of information for various topics within psychoneuroimmunology, a cohesive element is missing. The closing comments in the last chapter do not bring a sense of unity to the information or highlight the important similarities or differences in mind body interactions described in each chapter. Regardless, the information in each chapter is an excellent review of the literature written by key aurthors who are able to present a reliable overview of the material.