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UI professor publishes first-of-its-kind stroke book

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Dr. Robert G. Robinson, UI professor and head of psychiatry, wants to help physicians better identify, understand and treat the various problems associated with strokes.

To achieve his goal, Robinson has written a first-of-its-kind book, "The clinical neuropsychiatry of stroke: cognitive, behavioral and emotional disorders following vascular brain injury." The nearly 500-page text, recently published by Cambridge University Press, details all aspects of stroke from its history to the psychiatric disorders it may cause.

"This book represents a compilation of the past 20 years of study," Robinson said. "There is nothing out there like it."

The book includes not only Robinson's own research but the work of others in the field, as well. Robinson wanted to bring all stroke research and publications together into a single source.

Although primarily for physicians, the book also may be useful for family and friends of people who have had strokes, Robinson said.

Stroke, or cerebral vascular accident, is the sudden loss of blood supply to a region of the brain and leads to permanent tissue damage. It is the most common serious neurological disorder in the world. In the United States alone, there are about 400,000 cases annually.

Robinson has studied the problem for the past 20 years and examined in detail more than 700 patients with stroke. He has found that more than half of these patients had significant emotional disorders during the first two years after the brain injury.

In discussing the stroke problem with others in the health-care industry, Robinson discovered that many physicians and others are unsure of what constitutes a "normal" psychological response to stroke and what is a disorder that requires treatment.