Summary and book reviews of The Inflamed Mind by Edward Bullmore

The Inflamed Mind

A Radical New Approach to Depression

by Edward Bullmore

The Inflamed Mind by Edward Bullmore X
The Inflamed Mind by Edward Bullmore
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  • First Published:
    Dec 2018, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 31, 2019, 256 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jamie Chornoby
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About this Book

Book Summary

Worldwide, depression will be the single biggest cause of disability in the next twenty years. But treatment for it has not changed much in the last three decades. In the world of psychiatry, time has apparently stood still...until now with Edward Bullmore's The Inflamed Mind: A Radical New Approach to Depression.

In this game-changing book, University of Cambridge professor of psychiatry Edward Bullmore reveals the breakthrough new science on the link between depression and inflammation of the body and brain. He explains how and why we now know that mental disorders can have their root cause in the immune system, and outlines a future revolution in which treatments could be specifically targeted to break the vicious cycles of stress, inflammation, and depression.

The Inflamed Mind goes far beyond the clinic and the lab, representing a whole new way of looking at how mind, brain, and body all work together in a sometimes misguided effort to help us survive in a hostile world. It offers insights into how we could start getting to grips with depression and other mental disorders much more effectively in the future.

A Sunday Times (London) Top Ten Bestseller.

One

DARING TO THINK DIFFERENTLY

We all know depression. It touches every family on the planet. Yet we understand surprisingly little about it.

This dawned on me in an acutely embarrassing way one day in my first few years of training as a psychiatrist, when I was interviewing a man in the outpatient clinic at the Maudsley Hospital in London. In response to my textbook-drilled questioning, he told me that his mood was low, he wasn’t finding any pleasure in life, he was waking up in the small hours and unable to get back to sleep, he wasn’t eating well and had lost a bit of weight, he was guilty about the past and pessimistic about the future. “I think you’re depressed,” I told him. “I already know that,” the patient told me, patiently. “That’s why I asked my GP to refer me to this clinic. What I want to know is why am I depressed and what can you do about it?”

I tried to explain about anti-depressant drugs, like selective ...

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Reviews

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In light of the contradictions to Western medical ideology and funding cuts to mental health, Bullmore is hopeful but measured about the potential results of his findings, admitting that this connection between the immune system, stress and mind may not ever seep into standard medical practice. Still, he concludes with an optimistic image of what the future might look like if these revolutionary developments are embraced: new treatments, new medications, new biomarkers, new therapies, new doctors, less stigma, less guesswork and fewer blinders.   (Reviewed by Jamie Chornoby).

Full Review Members Only (1015 words).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
[A] targeted, readable primer... [and] a well-informed and cogently argued brief for funding and more investigation in the field.

Kirkus Reviews
Impressive and valuable... aimed at the general public, [The Inflamed Mind is] highly readable, and more than a little provocative.

Author Blurb John H. Krystal, M.D., Robert L. McNeil, Jr., professor of translational research; Chair, department of psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine
The Inflamed Mind confronts the reader with the converging revolutions in neuroscience and immunology that give rise to a new perspective about depression and its treatment...In an erudite, enjoyable, and accessible way, Professor Bullmore conveys the profound impact of this new perspective by helping us to appreciate the links between traditional 'medical' and 'psychiatric' syndromes and it identifies new anti-inflammatory treatments that may cross the boundary from general medicine to psychiatry.

Author Blurb Jeremy Vine, BBC
Suddenly an expert who wants to stop and question everything we thought we knew…This is a lesson in the workings of the brain far too important to ignore.

Author Blurb Steven E. Hyman, Harvard University
Ed Bullmore provides a clearly written and compelling argument for the importance of the immune system and inflammation in depression. This lively book explains a major frontier in clinical neuroscience that is not only influencing research on depression, but also on schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease.

Author Blurb Sir Robert Lechler, president of the Medical Sciences
As one of the first people to brand themselves as animmunopsychiatrist, Professor Bullmore has led us out of the dark ages and shone the light on the crucial link between systemic inflammation and mental illness. This set of insights is creating a paradigm shift in psychiatry which heralds a new field of personalized psychiatry in the same way that we are seeing personalized therapy in cancer.

Author Blurb Tom Insel, MD, cofounder and president of Mindstrong Health
An important book, a hopeful book, for anyone who wants to think about depression in a new way.

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Beyond the Book

How the Cure for Tuberculosis Led to the Development of Anti-Depressants

Black and white photo of nurses at a library cart at Seaview TB hospital in Staten IslandSometimes inventions are derived by chance. In The Inflamed Mind: A Radical New Approach to Depression, Edward Bullmore notes that the first antibiotic treatment of tuberculosis (TB) led to the creation of the world's most widely used antidepressant drug: Prozac.

Tuberculosis is an infectious bacterial disease that most severely affects the lungs. Globally, just over a million people die from TB per year. While this is a substantial number of fatalities, it is a fraction of the number that died before the advent of the Bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine. In fact, at the start of the 20th century, it was the leading cause of death in the United States, known as the "white plague." To develop an antibiotic that could treat infected people, ...

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