Author(s): Michael S. Ritsner
Neuroprotection is a novel perspective for the treatment of disorders that lead to neurodegeneration and disabilities as a result of deterioration of neurons due to apoptosis, oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, and other mechanisms. These mechanisms have implications not only for neurodegenerative disorders, but also for schizophrenia, mood and cognitive disorders. The purpose of this book is to provide an up-to-date overview of basic and clinical studies concerning the neuroprotective approach, mechanisms, and several compounds with neuroprotective properties that may contribute to more efficacious treatment of major mental health disorders. The book is divided into two sections. The first section serves as an introduction and overview of conceptual issues of the neuroprotective approach, and some neurobiological advances. Chapters in this section review definitions, perspectives, and issues that provide a conceptual base for the rest of the book. In addition, this part includes chapters in which the authors present and discuss the findings from basic studies of neurodegenerative mechanisms that are associated with the pathogenesis of major mental health disorders. The second section focuses on findings obtained from clinical trials with neuroprotective compounds, and neuromodulatory techniques. The take-home message is that principles of the neuroprotective approach may be applied to treatment of schizophrenia, mood and cognitive disorders. Contributors to this book are among the most active investigators and clinicians in the field who provide new perspectives not only clarifying ongoing controversies but also propose diverse aspects and new insights to neuroprotection. This book is intended for a broad readership, which includes a broad spectrum of readers including neuroscientists, psychiatrists, neurologists, pharmacologists, clinical psychologists, general practitioners, geriatricians, graduate students, and policy makers in the fields of mental health.