Neuroactive Steroids in Brain Function Behavior and Neuropsychiatric Disorders

This book provides an up-to-date overview of the role of neurosteroids and neuroactive steroids in the regulation of brain processes and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Author: Abraham Weizman

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9781402068546

Category: Medical

Page: 564

View: 717

This book provides an up-to-date overview of the role of neurosteroids and neuroactive steroids in the regulation of brain processes and neuropsychiatric disorders. It addresses the neurosteroid function in brain development and plasticity, in both the normal and the pathological brain. It also suggests possible therapeutic approaches to the use of natural occurring or sinthetic neurosteroids. The contributors suggest that neuroactive steroids could have a role in clinical practice.

The Handbook of Neuropsychiatric Biomarkers Endophenotypes and Genes

In: Ritsner MS, Weizman A (eds) Neuroactive Steroids in Brain Function, Behavior and Neuropsychiatric Disorders: Novel Strategies for Research and Treatment ...

Author: Michael Ritsner

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 1402098383

Category: Medical

Page: 213

View: 929

Neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, mood disorders, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, alcoholism, substance abuse and others are some of the most debilitating illnesses worldwide characterized by the complexity of causes, and lacking the laboratory tests that may promote diagnostic and prognostic procedures. Recent advances in neuroscience, genomic, genetic, proteomic and metabolomic knowledge and technologies have opened the way to searching biomarkers and endophenotypes, which may offer powerful and exciting opportunities to understand the etiology and the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders. The challenge now is to translate these advances into meaningful diagnostic and therapeutic advances. This book offers a broad synthesis of the current knowledge about diverse topics of the biomarker and endophenotype strategies in neuropsychiatry. The book is organized into four interconnected volumes: “Neuropsychological Endophenotypes and Biomarkers” (with overview of methodological issues of the biomarker and endophenotype approaches in neuropsychiatry and some technological advances), “Neuroanatomical and Neuroimaging Endophenotypes and Biomarkers”, “Metabolic and Peripheral Biomarkers” and “Molecular Genetic and Genomic Markers”. The contributors are internationally and nationally recognized researchers and experts from 16 countries. This four-volume handbook is intended for a broad spectrum of readers including neuroscientists, psychiatrists, neurologists, endocrinologists, pharmacologists, clinical psychologists, general practitioners, geriatricians, health care providers in the field of neurology and mental health interested in trends that have crystallized in the last decade, and trends that can be expected to further evolve in the coming years. It is hoped that this book will also be a useful resource for the teaching of psychiatry, neurology, psychology and mental health.

Handbook of Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders Volume III

In: Ritsner MS, Weizman A (eds) Neuroactive steroids in brain function, behavior and neuropsychiatric disorders. Novel strategies for research and treatment ...

Author: Michael S. Ritsner

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9789400708341

Category: Medical

Page: 462

View: 297

A few disorders have some of the same symptoms as schizophrenia including schizoaffective disorders, schizophreniform disorder, schizotypal and schizoid personality disorders, delusional disorder, and autism (schizophrenia spectrum disorders). Since the 2000 there has been significant progress in our understanding of the early presentations, assessment, suspected neuropathology, and treatment of these disorders. Recent technological breakthroughs in basic sciences hold promise for advancing our understanding of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia spectrum disorders. This collective monograph reviewers recent researches regarding the origins, onset, course, and outcome of schizophrenia spectrum disorders. In particular, this book will be illustrate new developments in terms of conceptual models, and research methodology, genetics and genomics, brain imaging and neurochemical studies, neurophysiology and information processing in schizophrenia spectrum disorders patients. Also will be highlighted new developments in our understanding of the childhood psychosis, prodromal and first-episode states, in treatment and rehabilitation. Thus, the purpose of this book is to provide up-to-date overview of the rapid advances made in the clinical and basic science studies supporting our understanding of the relationship between cerebral processes and clinical, cognitive and other presentations of the schizophrenia spectrum disorders. In addition, this book aims to monitor important research developments, which may be relevant to treatment, and rehabilitation of patients.

New Perspectives in Neurosteroids action a Special Player Allopregnanolone

In this topic, we review the most recent acquisitions in the field of neurosteroids, focusing our attention on ALLO because its effects on the physiology of neurons and glial cells of the central and peripheral nervous system are intriguing ...

Author: Valerio Magnaghi

Publisher: Frontiers Media SA

ISBN: 2889195554



View: 860

Early in the 80’s date the first observations on the existence of hormonal steroids that may be synthesized and act in the nervous system. In order to refer to these endogenous steroids, proved important to control both central and peripheral nervous system, it was proposed the term “neurosteroids” (NSs). Over the years, their importance in regulating the physiological functions of neuronal and glial cells increased progressively. These steroids can be involved in several pathophysiological conditions such as depression, anxiety, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), schizophrenia and Alzheimer disease. Among the different classes of NSs, the progestagens revealed particularly important. The progesterone metabolite 5a-pregnan-3a-ol-20-one, also named tetrahydroprogesterone or allopregnanolone (ALLO) was one of the first most important steroid that was originally shown to act as neurosteroid. ALLO is synthesized through the action of the 5aR-3a-HSD, which converts P into DHP and subsequently, via a bidirectional reaction, into ALLO. NSs exert complex effects in the nervous system through ‘classic’, genomic, and ‘non-classic’, non-genomic actions. ALLO displays a rapid ‘non-genomic’ effect, which mainly involves the potent modulation of the GABA type A (GABA-A) receptor function. Recently a membrane receptor has been identified as target for ALLO effects, i.e. the membrane progesterone receptors (mPRs) that are able to activate a signalling cascade through G protein dependent mechanisms. By these ways, ALLO is able to modulate several cell functions, acting as neurogenic molecule on neural progenitor cells, as well as by activating proliferation and differentiation of glial cells in the central and peripheral nervous system. In this topic, we review the most recent acquisitions in the field of neurosteroids, focusing our attention on ALLO because its effects on the physiology of neurons and glial cells of the central and peripheral nervous system are intriguing and could potentially lead to the development of new strategies for neuroprotection and/or regeneration of injured nervous tissues and for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders.

Hormones Brain and Behavior

Steroidogenesis and neuroplasticity in the songbird brain. In: Neuroactive Steroids in Brain Function, Behavior and Neuropsychiatric Disorders ...


Publisher: Academic Press

ISBN: 0128036087

Category: Medical

Page: 2474

View: 129

Hormones, Brain and Behavior, Third Edition offers a state-of-the-art overview of hormonally-mediated behaviors, including an extensive discussion of the effects of hormones on insects, fish, amphibians, birds, rodents, and humans. Entries have been carefully designed to provide a valuable source of information for students and researchers in neuroendocrinology and those working in related areas, such as biology, psychology, psychiatry, and neurology. This third edition has been substantially restructured to include both foundational information and recent developments in the field. Continuing the emphasis on interdisciplinary research and practical applications, the book includes articles aligned in five main subject sections, with new chapters included on genetic and genomic techniques and clinical investigations. This reference provides unique treatment of all major vertebrate and invertebrate model systems with excellent opportunities for relating behavior to molecular genetics. The topics cover an unusual breadth (from molecules to ecophysiology), ranging from basic science to clinical research, making this reference of interest to a broad range of scientists in a variety of fields. Comprehensive and updated coverage of a rapidly growing field of research Unique treatment of all major vertebrate and invertebrate model systems with excellent opportunities for relating behavior to molecular genetics Covers an unusual breadth of topics and subject fields, ranging from molecules to ecophysiology, and from basic science to clinical research Ideal resource for interdisciplinary learning and understanding in the fields of hormones and behavior

Hormones Brain and Behavior Online

Neuroactive Steroids in Brain Function, Behavioral and Neuropsychiatric Disorders. Novel Strategies for Research and Treatment. Pondicherry: Springer.


Publisher: Academic Press

ISBN: 008088783X

Category: Medical

Page: 4393

View: 912

Hormones, Brain, and Behavior, Second Edition is a comprehensive work discussing the effect of hormones on the brain and, subsequently, behavior. This major reference work has 109 chapters covering a broad range of topics with an extensive discussion of the effects of hormones on insects, fish, amphibians, birds, rodents, and humans. To truly understand all aspects of our behavior, we must take every influence (including the hormonal influences) into consideration. Donald Pfaff and a number of well-qualified editors examine and discuss how we are influenced by hormonal factors, offering insight, and information on the lives of a variety of species. Hormones, Brain, and Behavior offers the reader comprehensive coverage of growing field of research, with a state-of-the-art overview of hormonally-mediated behaviors. This reference provides unique treatment of all major vertebrate and invertebrate model systems with excellent opportunities for relating behavior to molecular genetics. The topics cover an unusual breadth (from molecules to ecophysiology), ranging from basic science to clinical research, making this reference of interest to a broad range of scientists in a variety of fields. Available online exclusively via ScienceDirect. A limited edition print version is also available. Comprehensive coverage of a growing field of research Unique treatment of all major vertebrate and invertebrate model systems with excellent opportunites for relating behavior to molecular genetics Covers an unusual breadth ranging from molecules to ecophysiology, and from basic science to clinical research

Sound Communication in Fishes

In: Ritsner M, Weizman A (ed) Neuroactive steroids in brain function, behavior and neuropsychiatric disorders, novel strategies for research and treatment.

Author: Friedrich Ladich

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3709118468

Category: Science

Page: 244

View: 521

This volume examines fish sounds that have a proven signal function, as well as sounds assumed to have evolved for communication purposes. It provides an overview of the mechanisms, evolution and neurobiology behind sound production in fishes, and discusses the role of fish sounds in behavior with a special focus on choice of mate, sex-specific and age-specific signaling. Furthermore, it highlights the ontogenetic development of sound communication and ecoacoustical conditions in fish habitats and the influence of hormones on vocal production and sound detection. Sound Communication in Fishes offers a must-have compendium for lecturers, researchers and students working in the fields of animal communication, fish biology, neurobiology and animal behavior.

Neurosteroids and Brain Function

Sources and Biosynthesis of Neuroactive Steroids III . ... role in the response to stress and the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders , such as epilepsy ...

Author: Ronald J. Bradley

Publisher: Academic Press

ISBN: 9780123668462

Category: Medical

Page: 513

View: 112

International Review of Neurobiology, Volume 46 presents in-depth reviews on such ground-breaking topics as assembly and intracellular trafficking of GABA A receptors, D-1 dopamine receptors, and Alzheimer's disease. This series offers the most comprehensive and up-to-date information available and is a must for anyone in the field. Includes a historical overview of neurosteroid research Contains a chapter on neurosteroid biosynthesis and regulation Presents current methods of neurosteroid measurement and analysis Discusses neurosteroid function in both the normal and the pathological brain Chapters address the function of neurosteroid in: Stress, Receptor plasticity and function, Learning and Memory, Alcohol use, Depression

Encyclopedia of Human Behavior

Neuroactive Steroids in Brain Function, Behavior, and Neuropsychiatric Disorders: Novel Strategies for Research and Treatment.


Publisher: Academic Press

ISBN: 0080961800

Category: Psychology

Page: 2518

View: 645

The Encyclopedia of Human Behavior, Second Edition is an award-winning three-volume reference on human action and reaction, and the thoughts, feelings, and physiological functions behind those actions. Presented alphabetically by title, 300 articles probe both enduring and exciting new topics in physiological psychology, perception, personality, abnormal and clinical psychology, cognition and learning, social psychology, developmental psychology, language, and applied contexts. Written by leading scientists in these disciplines, every article has been peer-reviewed to establish clarity, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. The most comprehensive reference source to provide both depth and breadth to the study of human behavior, the encyclopedia will again be a much-used reference source. This set appeals to public, corporate, university and college libraries, libraries in two-year colleges, and some secondary schools. Carefully crafted, well written, and thoroughly indexed, the encyclopedia helps users—whether they are students just beginning formal study of the broad field or specialists in a branch of psychology—understand the field and how and why humans behave as we do. Named a 2013 Outstanding Academic Title by the American Library Association's Choice publication Concise entries (ten pages on average) provide foundational knowledge of the field Each article features suggested further readings, a list of related websites, a 5-10 word glossary and a definition paragraph, and cross-references to related articles in the encyclopedi Newly expanded editorial board and a host of international contributors from the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Sweden, and the United Kingdom

DHEA in Human Health and Aging

Neuroactive steroids in brain function, behavior, and neuropsychiatric disorders (p. 227–39). New York: Springer. Laaidi, M., K. Laaidi, ...

Author: Ronald Ross Watson

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 1439838844

Category: Medical

Page: 472

View: 745

Reduced production of DHEA associated with the diseases that accompany aging has led to its use as a nutritional supplement for antiaging, metabolic support, and other purposes. While animal studies have clearly shown substantial benefits of DHEA in combating various disease states, the effect of low levels of DHEA in humans is less established, an

Making Sense of Emotion

“Size Matters: Increased Grey Matter in Boys with Conduct Problems and ... Neuroactive Steroids in Brain Function, Behavior and Neuropsychiatric Disorders ...

Author: D. John D. Ninivaggi

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1442275898

Category: Psychology

Page: 346

View: 348

Children not shown tools to develop emotional intelligence fail emotionally and socially. Basic empathy skills are absent. In adult life, employment and occupational advancement are less likely. Making Sense of Emotion grasps the Yale integrative emotional intelligence ability model. Adding key missing elements, this book unlocks its potential to trigger “emotion performance utilization” in real life and real-time. The epidemic of overusing medications, substance use disorders, addiction, drug overdoses, even global “doping” in sports reflects emotional malaise. Emotional illiteracy is one underlying cause and demands innovative emotional intelligence. Written by a psychiatrist, this volume supplies literacy tools---a vivid action language showing how emotions unfold as personal dramas. Emotions are our first language---the mother tongue infants and children are “lived by.” Emotional awareness is refined emotional intelligence. This book clearly defines emotions, feelings, affects, moods, and the social-emotional competencies needed to understand and build emotional awareness. Skills take shape resulting in unfolding self-attunement. In real-time, emotional intelligence is effective emotional performance. The missing link between the two is the application of emotion regulation in real life---knowledge in the head displayed in skilled everyday behavior. Innovative ideas in this book explain how to apply this emotional hygiene fitness program to benefit children and adults.

Sex Hormones in Neurodegenerative Processes and Diseases

Neuroactive Steroids in Brain Function, Behavior and Neuropsychiatric Disorders. The Netherlands: Springer; 2008. p. 227-239 Ritsner M, Gibel A, Maayan R, ...

Author: Gorazd Drevensek

Publisher: BoD – Books on Demand

ISBN: 1789230144

Category: Medical

Page: 358

View: 779

The book provides chapters on sex hormones and their modulation in neurodegenerative processes and pathologies, from basic molecular mechanisms, physiology, gender differences, to neuroprotection and clinical aspects for potential novel pharmacotherapy approaches. The book contains 14 chapters written by authors from various biomedical professions, from basic researchers in biology and physiology to medicine and veterinary medicine, pharmacologists, psychiatrist, etc. Chapters sum up the past and current knowledge on sex hormones, representing original new insights into their role in brain functioning, mental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. The book is written for a broad range of audience, from biomedical students to highly profiled medical specialists and biomedical researchers, helping them to expand their knowledge on sex hormones in neurodegenerative processes and opening new questions for further investigation.

Adaptation Biology and Medicine

Neuroactive Steroids in Brain Function, Behavior and Neuropsychiatric Disorders, pp. 227-239 Kuo CH, Hwang H, Lee MC, Castle AL, Ivy JL (2004) Role of ...

Author: L.M Popescu


ISBN: 8184874707

Category: Medical

Page: 522

View: 271

It has become amply clear that all live forms on Earth are the products of the constituent genes expressed under the influence of continuously changing natural environment. By the same token, gene expression is known to be modified by our (or by the modern) environment inclusive of factors such as gravity, altitude, temperature, atmospheric pressure and air quality, physical conditioning as well as nutrition and/or lifestyle. Life would not survive without recruiting endogenous adaptive mechanisms responsive to challenging environmnetal factors, Biology of adaptation as well as application of this knowledge has been discussed in both health and disease conditions such as cardiac ischemia and cardiomyopathies, stroke, dementia, Alzheimer's, cancer, metal toxicity, etc. The book will be of great interest to experimental biologists and health professionals dealing with benefits and failures of physiological and pathophysiological adaptations. It will also serve as an important source of information for young scientists, postdocs and students.

Handbook of Stress and the Brain Part 1 The Neurobiology of Stress

Neuroactive steroids affect a broad spectrum of behavioral functions through ... and may represent a new treatment strategy for neuropsychiatric disorders .

Author: T. Steckler

Publisher: Elsevier

ISBN: 9780444511737

Category: Medical

Page: 856

View: 787

The Handbook of Stress and the Brain focuses on the impact of stressful events on the functioning of the central nervous system; how stress affects molecular and cellular processes in the brain, and in turn, how these brain processes determine our perception of and reactivity to, stressful challenges - acutely and in the long-run. Written for a broad scientific audience, the Handbook comprehensively reviews key principles and facts to provide a clear overview of the interdisciplinary field of stress. The work aims to bring together the disciplines of neurobiology, physiology, immunology, psychology and psychiatry, to provide a reference source for both the non-clinical and clinical expert, as well as serving as an introductory text for novices in this field of scientific inquiry. Part 1 addresses basic aspects of the neurobiology of the stress response including the involvement of neuropeptide, neuroendocrine and neurotransmitter systems and its corollaries regarding gene expression and behavioural processes such as cognition, motivation and emotionality. * Provides an overview of recent advances made in stress research * Includes timely discussion of stress and its effect on the immune system * Presents novel treatment strategies targeting brain processes involved in stress processing and coping mechanisms

Handbook of Neurochemistry and Molecular Neurobiology

Steroid hormone effects on the brain have typically been associated with gene ... receptor function, which is mostly documented for the neuroactive steroids ...

Author: Abel Lajtha

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 0387303456

Category: Medical

Page: 757

View: 840

Contents include: 'Biochemistry and molecular biology of neural lipids', 'Advances in lipid analysis/lipidomics', 'Metabolism and enzymology of glycerolipids', 'Lipid metabolism in brain development and aging', 'Cellular and subcellular localization of neural lipids', and much more.

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Is obsessive-compulsive disorder an anxiety disorder? ... Neuroactive steroids in brain function, behavior and neuropsychiatric disorders: Novel strategies ...

Author: David Amaral

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199707472

Category: Medical

Page: 1456

View: 355

Autism is an emerging area of basic and clinical research, and has only recently been recognized as a major topic in biomedical research. Approximately 1 in 150 children are diagnosed as autistic, so it is also an intense growth area in behavioral and educational treatments. Financial resources have begun to be raised for more comprehensive research and an increasing number of scientists are becoming involved in autism research. In many respects, autism has become a model for conducting translational research on a psychiatric disorder. This text provides a comprehensive summary of all current knowledge related to the behavioral, experiential, and biomedical features of the autism spectrum disorders including major behavioral and cognitive syndromology, common co-morbid conditions, neuropathology, neuroimmunology, and other neurological correlates such as seizures, allergy and immunology, gastroenterology, infectious disease, and epidemiology. Edited by three leading researchers, this volume contains over 80 chapters and nine shorter commentaries by thought leaders in the field, making the book a virtual "who's who" of autism research. This carefully developed book is a comprehensive and authoritative reference for what we know in this area as well as a guidepost for the next several years in all areas of autism research.


“Steroidogenesis and neuroplasticity in the songbird brain,” in Neuroactive Steroids in Brain Function, Behavioral and Neuropsychiatric Disorders.

Author: Hubert Vaudry

Publisher: Frontiers E-books

ISBN: 2889190781



View: 927

Thirty years ago, the group of Baulieu and colleagues discovered that certain steroid hormones were present in higher amounts in the brain than in the plasma, and also found that suppression of circulating steroids by adrenalectomy and castration did not affect the concentration of pregnenolone, dehydroepiandrosterone and their sulfate esters in the rat brain. These seminal observations led to the concept that the brain, in very much the same way as the adrenal cortex, testis, ovary and placenta, was capable of synthesizing steroids. These brain born steroids, called neurosteroids, have been found to exert a vast array of biological activities. A number of steroidogenic enzymes have now been identified in the central nervous system by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization, and the neuronal and hormonal mechanisms regulating the biosynthesis of neurosteroids have been partially elucidated. The aim of this Research Topic is to celebrate three decades of research on neurosteroids by gathering a bouquet of review papers and original articles from leading scientists in the flourishing field of neurosteroids.

Frontiers in Pharmacology of Neurotransmitters

Under physiological conditions, neuroactive steroids can illustrate significant modulatory effects on brain-behavioral functions such as behavioral ...

Author: Puneet Kumar

Publisher: Springer Nature

ISBN: 9811535566

Category: Medical

Page: 721

View: 946

Numerous phenomenal advances have been made towards understanding the role of neurotransmitters in the pathophysiology of neurological disorders, and these have resulted in a large number of novel molecules with the potential to revolutionize the treatment and prevention of such disorders. This book provides a comprehensive and detailed explanation of brain neurotransmitters and their receptors and associated channels. It includes a basic introduction, and also discusses the functions and recent advances and their pharmacology, highlighting the role of various computer aided drug design (CADD) strategies for the development of therapeutic ligands to modulate these receptors/ion channels. Written in an easy-to-read style, it is intended for neuroscience and pharmaceutical students and researchers working in the area of brain neurotransmitters.

Sex Steroids

The interaction of neuroactive steroids and GABA in the development of ... Estrogen: effects on normal brain function and neur neuropsychiatric disorders.

Author: Scott M. Kahn

Publisher: BoD – Books on Demand

ISBN: 953307857X

Category: Medical

Page: 344

View: 624

This book, entitled "Sex Steroids", features a valuable collection of reviews and research articles written by experts in signal transduction, cellular biology, diseases and disorders. "Sex Steroids" is comprised of four sections, "The Biology of Sex Steroids", "Sex Steroids, Memory, and the Brain", "Sex Steroids and the Immune Response", and "Therapy"; individual chapters address a broad range of recognized and predicted functions and applications of sex steroids. "Sex Steroids" is intended to provide seasoned veterans as well as newcomers to this area of research with informative, resourceful, and provocative insights. Readers of "Sex Steroids" should emerge with an appreciation and understanding of the multitude and complexity of biologic processes attributed to these important hormones, and possible future directions of research in this fascinating and ever evolving field.

Molecular Mechanisms of Hormone Actions on Behavior

... brains 770 aromatase deficient mice studies 770 Alzheimer's disease see ... role Neuropsychiatric disorders see Psychiatric disorders Neurosteroids ...

Author: Anne M. Etgen

Publisher: Academic Press

ISBN: 9780080958583

Category: Science

Page: 1100

View: 955

A single volume of 31 articles, Mechanisms of Hormone Actions on Behavior is an authoritative selection of relevant chapters from the Hormones Brain and Behavior 2e MRW, the most comprehensive source of neuroendocrinological information assembled to date (AP June 2009). The study of hormones as they impact the brain and, subsequently, behavior is a central topic in neuroscience, endocrinology and psychiatry. This volume offers an overview of neuroendocrinological topics, approaching the subject from the perspective of the mechanisms which control hormone actions on behavior. Female, male and stress hormones are discussed at the cellular, behavioral and developmental level, and sexual differentiation of the development of hormone-dependent neuronal systems, neuropeptides/neuromodulators, and steroid-inducedneuroplasticity are addressed. There is simply no other current single-volume reference with such comprehensive coverage and depth. Authors selected are the internationally renowned experts for the particular topics on which they write, and the volume is richly illustrated with over 175 figures (over 50 in color). A collection of articles reviewing our fundamental knowledge of the mechanisms of neuroendocrinology, the book provides an essential, affordable reference for researchers, clinicians and graduate students in the area. - The most comprehensive single-volume source of up-to-date data on the mechanisms behind neuroendocrinology, with review articles covering x,y z - Chapters synthesize information otherwise dispersed across a number of journal articles and book chapters, thus saving researchers the time consuming process of finding and integrating this information themselves - Offering outstanding scholarship, each chapter is written by an expert in the topic area and approximately 35% of chapters are written by international contributors - Provides more fully vetted expert knowledge than any existing work with broad appeal for the US, UK and Europe, accurately crediting the contributions to research in those regions - Heavily illustrated with 175 figures, approximately 54 in color - Presents material in most visually useful form for the reader