The first edition of this book signalled a fundamental change of direction in the way in which psychiatric and neurological dysfunctions were conceptualized and treated. Appearing in the last year of the last century, it heralded the kind of reorientation of thought that would be needed in the next if the problems besetting these two major areas of medicine were to be dealt with effectively. It would be hard to overestimate the impact produced by the first edition in the four years following its publication. It was instrumental in promoting widespread acceptance of the idea that major conditions such as schizophrenia, mania, depression, dyslexia, dyspraxia, Alzheimer's disease, and many disorders of movement, could all be considered as expressions of underlying faults in membrane phospholipid metabolism. In addition, it shifted emphasis away from an increasingly sterile search for abnormalities in the release, reuptake and receptor interactions of neurotransmitters, and towards what has proved to be the richly fertile ground of membrane phospholipid biochemistry.

The second, and much enlarged, second edition updates the coverage of the first edition and extends the range of psychiatric and neurological conditions in which phospholipids are now recognised as being of major importance.