Dr. Max Fink's Book on ECT Published in Japanese Translation by Drs. Hideyuki Matsuki and Maki Matsuki

In September 2010, the Japanese publishing house, Shinkoh Igaku Shuppan, released a Japanese translation of Electroconvulsive Therapy: A Guide for Professionals and Their Patients by Max Fink, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology Emeritus at Stony Brook University. The book was translated by the husband and wife team of Hideyuki Matsuki, MD, PhD, and Maki Matsuki, MD, with two colleagues.

Dr. Hideyuki Matsuki, a geriatric psychiatrist at the Saitama Medical University Saitama Medical Center near Tokyo, has been working for the past two years in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science as a Visiting Research Scholar in the lab of Dr. Dmitry Goldgaber, studying the genetic aspects of Alzheimer’s Disease. His wife, Dr. Maki Matsuki, also a psychiatrist, is working as an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Stony Brook University.

The idea of translating the book, originally published in 2009 by Oxford University Press, came about after the Matsukis met Dr. Fink at grand rounds. “Dr. Fink is famous in Japan,” Dr. Hideyuki Matsuki explained, “but I did not expect to meet him at Stony Brook because I thought he was retired.” Dr. Matsuki’s request for an autograph of Dr. Fink’s book led to a discussion of ECT and eventually to the decision to collaborate on a translation.

In his busy clinical practice in Japan, Dr. Matsuki specialized in the treatment of patients with severe somatic disorders, many of whom were candidates for ECT. Often, however, his patients or their primary physicians objected based on their misconceptions about the treatment. “I wanted to introduce ECT to them,” Dr. Matsuki said, “but I did not have an appropriate guide in Japanese to give them. I wanted to introduce Dr. Fink’s book to Japanese doctors and their patients.”

The Matsukis plan to continue their research at Stony Brook for another year before returning to clinical practice. In the meantime, they are hoping to reach an agreement to translate Dr. Fink’s Melancholia: The Diagnosis, Pathophysiology, and Treatment of Depressive Illness, which was published by Cambridge University Press in 2006.