Janusz Rybakowski: Lithium The Amazing Drug in Psychiatry
Samuel Gershon’s comments
Dr. Rybakowski is a professor of Psychiatry at the University of Poznan in Poland.
There has been a regular trickle of books on the many different aspects of this topic over the past 50 years. They have approached the topic from different aspects and points of view.
This book by Rybakowski is a very well constructed and organized volume especially valuable to educate readers about the main aspects of this valuable therapeutic agent. It is a paper back of 196 pages that manages to include a very comprehensive picture of the history of the initial studies on lithium and considerable discussion of the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorders with lithium, as well as a very thorough evaluation of other possible medications. He begins with a discussion of the history of the diagnosis and its formulations by Kraepelin and others since then.
He then comes to the 1949 paper by John Cade which presents his small clinical trial and Cade’s conclusion of the efficacy of lithium for the treatment of manic excitement. Rybakowski was a colleague of Mogens Schou and was an important participant with Schou in the presentation of the important clinical properties of lithium in these disorders
He then moves on to a current discussion of affective disorders and the therapeutic possibilities of the available agents. He also offers an important chapter for clinicians on initiating the use and monitoring of lithium therapy and follows through with several chapters on the unique properties of lithium therapy. Each of these chapters look at some unique properties of lithium that have been reported by other researchers
In summary, I would propose this book as an excellent resource for updating information for experienced users of lithium as well as an excellent educational introduction for its optimal usage.
January 21, 2021