The Patients Brain: The neuroscience behind the doctor-patient relationship

Paperback | November 14, 2010

byFabrizio Benedetti

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There is a vast literature on what has often been called the doctor-patient relationship, patient-provider interaction, therapist-patient encounter, and such like. However, it is thanks to recent advances within neuroscience, that we now find ourselves in a much better position to be able todescribe and discuss the biological mechanisms that underlie the doctor-patient relationship. For example, we now know that different physiological and biochemical mechanisms take part in complex functions, like trust, hope, empathy and compassion, which are all key elements in thetherapist-patient encounter. With this neuroscientific knowledge in their hands, health professionals will soon be able to directly see how their words, attitudes, and behaviours activate and inactivate molecules, cortical areas, and sensory systems in the brains of their patients. This revolutionary new book describes and explains how this new scientific knowledge can be put to great practical use. It shows how, from a neuroscientific perspective, the doctor-patient relationship can be subdivided into at least four steps: feeling sick, seeking relief, meeting the therapist,and receiving therapy. The main advantage to approaching the doctor-patient relationship from a neuroscientific perspective is that physicians, psychologists and health professionals can better understand what kind of changes they can induce in their patients' brains, further boosting theprofessional's empathic and compassionate behaviour. Written by the author of the critically acclaimed Placebo Effects, this book will lead to a better awareness of the potential power that the doctor's behaviour may have on the patient's behaviour and capacity for recovery from illness, as well as to better medical practice and social/communicationskills. It will be required reading for physicians, psychotherapists, and neuroscientists.

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There is a vast literature on what has often been called the doctor-patient relationship, patient-provider interaction, therapist-patient encounter, and such like. However, it is thanks to recent advances within neuroscience, that we now find ourselves in a much better position to be able todescribe and discuss the biological mechanism...

Fabrizio Benedetti received the Medical Doctor (MD) degree in 1981 from the University of Turin Medical School. In 1984, he received a Silbert International Award from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). In the 1980s and 1990s, he worked in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA and was a visit...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:328 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:November 14, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199579512

ISBN - 13:9780199579518

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Table of Contents

1. A brief evolutionary account of medical care2. Emergence and development of scientific medicine3. Feeling sick: A combination of bottom-up and top-down events4. Seeking relief: The activation of motivational and reward circuits5. Meeting the therapist: A look into trust, hope, empathy and compassion mechanisms6. Receiving the therapy: The activation of expectation and placebo mechanisms7. The brain of the demented patient8. Defence mechanisms of the body in the course of evolution: from cellular to social responses

Editorial Reviews

"The breadth of topics addressed ... make this book an important read for anyone in the medical field." --Journal of the Neurological Sciences