Recommended Books February 2018

Spirit Vine February 2018, Recommended Books

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

by Bessel van der Kolk MD

A pioneering researcher transforms our understanding of trauma and offers a bold new paradigm for healing in this New York Times Science bestseller
 
Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal—and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.

Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression: The First Decade of Progress

by Sanjay Mathew

This book brings together an international group of clinicians and researchers from a broad swath of inter-related disciplines to offer the most up-to-date information about clinical and preclinical research into ketamine and second-generation “ketamine-like” fast-acting antidepressants.

Currently available antidepressant medications act through monoaminergic systems, are ineffective for many individuals suffering from depression, and are associated with a delayed onset of peak efficacy of several months. The unexpected emergence of ketamine, an anesthetic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, as a rapid-acting antidepressant has reinvigorated CNS drug discovery research and catalyzed investigation in patient populations historically ignored in antidepressant drug development programs, particularly treatment-resistant patients and those with suicidality. Recent industry and academic research efforts have coalesced to explore NMDA receptor and glutamatergic molecular targets that lack ketamine’s psychotomimetic side effects and abuse liability but retain its rapid onset of efficacy. However, many fundamental questions remain regarding the neurobiological mechanisms underlying ketamine’s rapid antidepressant effects and the puzzling persistence of benefits observed in some patients following a single dose.

This book examines how insights from these studies are forging new conceptual models of the neurobiology of stress-related affective, anxiety, and addictive disorders and the nature of treatment resistance. It also discusses how ketamine’s rapid antidepressant effects provide a scientific platform to facilitate innovation in clinical trial designs pertaining to patient selection, choice of control group, outcome measures, and dose-optimization. This book brings together data and insights from this rapidly expanding and extraordinarily promising field of study. Readers will be able to extract integrated themes and useful insights from the material contained in these diverse chapters and appreciate the paradigm-shifting contributions of ketamine to modern psychiatry and clinical neuroscience research.

Zoo Station: The Story of Christiane F. (True Stories)

by Christiane F.

In 1978 Christiane F. testified against a man who had traded heroin for sex with teenage girls at Berlin’s notorious Zoo Station. In the course of that trial, Christiane F. became connected with two journalists, and over time they helped to turn her story – which begins with a dysfunctional but otherwise fairly normal childhood – into an acclaimed bestseller. Christiane F.’s rapid descent into heroin abuse and prostitution is shocking, but the boredom, the longing for acceptance, the thrilling risks, and even the musical obsessions that fill out the rest of Christiane’s existence will be familiar to every reader. Christiane F.’s Berlin is a strange and often terrifying place, but it’s also a place that remains closer than we might think….