Osama O. Zaidat, MD and Alan J. Lerner, MD.
Saunders Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA, 2008.
ISBN 978-0-323-03950-5, $59.95.
Scope: This pocket book aims to be a portable, yet comprehensive, guide to clinical neurology. It is organized alphabetically by topic with plenty of figures and tables. This most recent edition has several useful appendices, including summaries of clinical guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology, neurologic emergencies, therapeutics, and clinical scales. In this edition, the authors have added new information and updated references.
Strengths: Unlike my well-worn copy of the 3rd edition, this edition has a useful table of contents and an index that make it considerably easier to find information. It continues to have numerous outstanding figures and tables, such as those covering cerebral arterial and venous anatomy, the cerebellum, pediatric norms, cerebrospinal fluid, channelopathies, and paraneoplastic diseases. The new appendices are excellent additions that offer rapid therapeutic guidance.
Weaknesses: Although this book succeeds in covering the full breadth of topics relevant to clinical neurology in such a small space, it loses considerable detail and nuance in the evaluation and treatment of many neurologic diseases because of space limitations. Furthermore, residents and junior neurologists are the principal authors of the book, leading to some odd oversights, such as separate headings for idiopathic intracranial hypertension and pseudotumor cerebri which contain slightly different advice and nary a cross-reference to each other.
Recommended Audience: This book is aimed directly at the neurology resident and serves as a good, basic, ready reference for the broad range of conditions encountered on the wards and in the clinic. Residents in allied fields, such as neurosurgery, neuroradiology, and medicine, may also find it useful.
Critical Appraisal: For neurology residents, this is a pocket guide that is worth weighting down their white coats, but it is hardly the final source.
Beau B. Bruce, MD
Emory University School of Medicine