Jeffrey L. Cummings, MD.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2006.
ISBN 978-0-52186-253-0, $150.00
Scope: Part of an ongoing series in neuropharmacology, this book aims to update the reader in key areas of clinical therapeutics. It belongs to a wider series of chapters that were initially provided on-line and later published in book form. This volume covers therapeutic agents for dementia associated with Parkinson disease, fatigue in multiple sclerosis, glioblastoma multiforme, migraine, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, pseudobulbar affect, autism, and schizophrenia.
Strengths: The information provided in each chapter is excellent. The organization is optimal, first detailing the salient points of clinical studies and then providing a rationale for the opinion reached. The editor has worked diligently to ensure that there is consistency in the type and organization of material prepared by the many different authors. In all cases, it is concise and clear.
It is commendable that this book covers topic areas in which the investigational medication does not prove to be efficacious against the index disease state. All too often, important negative studies are not reported or are written up in an ambiguous manner.
Weaknesses: More information on how the subject matter for each volume was chosen and a clearer conceptual link between the topics of each chapter would have been helpful.
Recommended Audience: To garner maximum benefit, the reader should have a background in neuropharmacology or neurotherapeutics. Thus, this book will appeal most to experts in these fields.
Critical Appraisal: This is a scholarly text that provides important updates on potential new treatments in the areas of neurology and neuropsychiatry. The information is presented well, concisely, and with a clear opinion on therapeutic outcomes. Experts in the field will find it very useful. Clinicians will likely struggle.
Bankole A. Johnson, DSc, MD, PhD, MPhil, FRCPsych
Chairman, Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences
Alumni Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences
Professor of Medicine
Professor of Neuroscience
University of Virginia