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August 30 , 2010

Psychiatric Epidemiology: Searching for the Causes of Mental Disorders


Searching for the causes of mental disorders is as exciting as it it complex. The relationship between pathophysiology and its overt manifestations is exceedingly intricate, and often the causes of a disorder are elusive at best. This book is an invaluable resource for anyone trying to track these causes, whether they be clinical researchers, public health practitioners, or psychiatric epidemiologists-in-training. Uniting theory and practice in very clear language, it makes a wonderful contribution to both epidemiologic and psychiatric research. Rather than attempting to review the descriptive epidemiology of mental disorders, this book gives much more dynamic exposition of the thinking and techniques used to establish it. Starting out by tracing the brief history of psychiatric epidemiology, the book describes the study of risk factors as causes of mental disorders. Subsequent sections discuss approaches to investigation of biologic, genetic, or social causes and the statistical analysis of study results. The book concludes by following some of the problems involved in the search for genetic causes of mental disorders, and more complex casual relationships.

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