Edward Bullmore’s “The Inflamed Mind” – book review

Professor Edward Bullmore is Head of the Department of Psychiatry and the Director of the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge and a part-time consultant for GlaxoSmithKline.

His book is a summary of the most recent research linking depression to physical inflammation. Here’s a link to an article summarizing his theory.

I found this book absolutely fascinating. Bullmore’s suggestion is that patients are not simply depressed because of their physical symptoms, but that their depression is part and parcel of their physical symptoms. He is excellent at explaining scientific terms to a lay audience, and there are a lot of helpful diagrams illustrating what is going on inside the human brain. For me, this was a page-turner.

 

The only thing that amused me somewhat is Bullmore’s insistence that the divide between mind and body in medicine is due to Descartes. Perhaps he bears a share of the blame, but the dualist position has been in existence at least since Plato’s time, and it seems rather harsh to place all the blame on Descartes’ shoulders.

 

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