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The Scientific Basis of Drug Therapy in Psychiatry.

Patrick R. Staunton, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;13(6):574-575. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01730060092013.
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The participants of this Symposium were predominantly British psychiatrists with a few representatives from "overseas" such as Himwich and Brodie (USA) and Pletscher (Switzerland). The avowed aim of this book "is to review the present state of knowledge of the clinical and therapeutic effects and the mode of action of the various psychotropic drugs." It is divided into five sessions, namely—Basic Concepts, Major Tranquilizers, Anti-Depressants, Anti-Anxiety Compounds, and General Considerations. In general the subject matter is presented in a lucid and clear-cut style, though the papers by pharmacologists such as Pletscher and Brodie are difficult for the clinician to assimilate. Each major session consists of a few main papers, followed by two formal discussions, and finally a general discussion.

In the opening session on general concepts, Hamilton has much to say that is worthwhile both reading and remembering. He stresses the importance of accurately


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