August 13, 1997

The Psychiatry of Stroke

Author Affiliations

HORIZON Mental Health Management Knoxville, Tenn


by D. Peter Birkett, 461 pp, with illus, $54, ISBN 088048-540-X, Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Press, 1996.

JAMA. 1997;278(6):522. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550060098045

As much as anything else, this book epitomizes the development of medical, and especially geriatric, psychiatry. Perhaps 20, certainly 40 years ago, a book of this nature and title would have produced little interest and even less data of relevance to the average practitioner diagnosing and treating strokes. However, development of new brain imaging technologies and more recognition of the psychiatric needs of patients in nursing homes, especially those with dementia, bring us to the point of "a realization that the limits to therapy and rehabilitation are largely set by mental impairment—and that because such impairment may be treatable, it must be initiated."

The book is written to appeal to and enlighten multidisciplinary professionals who evaluate and treat the stroke patient. The literature review is both current and comprehensive.

Neuropsychiatry and social psychiatry both form a basis for discussion and include physical foundations of stroke, stroke-related syndromes, and the