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Friday, March 7, 2014

Book Review: Bullets and Brains, by Dr. Andrew Wilner

Bullets and Brains (2013), by Andrew Nathan Wilner, M.D., is a collection of more than 100 of the author’s interesting essays on neurology-related topics from An epilepsy specialist and neurohospitalist, Dr. Wilner is also a medical journalist and member of the American Academy of Neurology. [Disclosure: he has written for Neurology Now.] His previous books include Epilepsy: 199 Answers and Epilepsy in Clinical Practice—both written for medical professionals.


Although Bullets and Brains is also written for a professional audience, the book avoids jargon and should be accessible to many Neurology Now readers, particularly those looking for more information on epilepsy. Dr. Wilner covers a range of topics in the epilepsy section: new drug treatments and causes of epilepsy, seizure-detection devices, various forms of stimulation (vagus nerve, trigeminal nerve), the continuing impact of stigma, and more.


If you have a subscription to, you can find the book’s content online. Perhaps one advantage of the print version is that related content is organized by topic instead of date, so that you don’t have to search for all of the TBI chapters, for example. However, section introductions would have been a useful addition and an opportunity to reflect on the information in the chapters from the perspective of the present, as many of the posts were written prior to 2013.


Nevertheless, the book is filled with solid coverage from someone who has been on the front lines of neurology. The chapters looking at study results are especially informative. In them, Dr. Wilner explains the methods and results of a large number of studies, points out strengths and weaknesses, and discusses the implications of findings in the context of related research.


Bullets and Brains is available on in paperback and Kindle.


For a full collection of Neurology Now articles on epilepsy, go to