In The Inflamed Mind Cambridge psychiatrist Professor Edward Bullmore presents a new discovery which will overturn centuries of medical, psychological and philosophical understanding: the mind and body are linked far more closely than we ever knew.
For years it has been accepted by the medical profession that mind and body were separated by a `blood-brain barrier', which prevented all cellular interaction. It was not considered professionally respectable to investigate connections between the brain, the realm of neuroscience, and the immune system, the province of immunology, because it was well known that the brain and the immune system had nothing to do with each other. Now it is clear that that is not the whole story.
Bullmore's research reveals that the existence of the blood-brain barrier does not prohibit immunological cross-talk between brain and body. What this means is that when your immune system is triggered to produce antibodies - by some form of inflammation - those antibodies travel to the brain. In simple terms, this is the first step of a whole new approach to treating mental illness, the key to understanding conditions from depression and psychosis, to autism, addiction and Alzheimer's disease.Bullmore's book offers key insights into medicine, into how we have been getting it wrong, and how we can begin, now, to get it right. It looks set to remove the stigma attached to mental health. Because it's official - depression is not `all in the mind'.
"An important book, a hopeful book, for anyone who wants to think about depression in a new way." Tom Insel MD, Co-founder and President, Mindstrong Health
"The Inflamed Mind is not only a dramatic breakthrough in our understanding of depression. It is an extraordinary exploration of what it is to be human." Matthew D'Ancona, author of 'Post Truth'
"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." Jeremy Vine, BBC
"Erudite, enjoyable, and accessible... 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." John H. Krystal, MD, Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine
"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." Steven E. Hyman, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor
"Professor Bullmore explores how the current division between Psychiatry and the rest of medicine has developed and how we might change that. He puts forward a fascinating theory that attributes depression to inflammation rather than serotonin imbalance as has traditionally been thought. Whatever the truth, this book is a stimulating and interesting read." Wendy Burn, President Royal College of Psychiatrists
"A great read, this thought provoking book presents inflammation as the major driver of depression. A real page turner that raises important questions for us all, including how we should practise medicine going forwards and can we restart Research and Development using this paradigm? Highly recommended." Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England