Anthony H. V. Schapira, MD, DSc, FRCP, FMedSci.
Mosby Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA, 2007.
ISBN 978-0-323-03354-1, $209.00.
Scope: This single volume multiauthored textbook of 1,626 pages presents classic textbook coverage of clinical neurology. The intended audience is clinical neurologists-from neurologists in training to experienced practitioners.
The text is organized as are other classic neurology textbooks: by neurologic system or disease. All major topics are covered.
Strengths: The most unique aspect of this book along with its greatest strength is its focus on the practical application of neuroscience to clinical practice. This text with its bench-to-bedside emphasis delves deeper than most other texts into the pathophysiologic basis of disease and treatment and into the science behind current technologic diagnostic evaluations.
As the scientific basis of neurology has expanded exponentially, the multiauthored approach used in this text has become essential. This is well accomplished here with coeditors and contributors comprising distinguished international leaders in their fields.
Generous use of full-colored illustrations and figures makes the text visually appealing and facilitates conceptual understanding. Most chapters include excellent tables that allow access to key concepts at a glance. For example, tables on topics such as key clinical findings in the various inherited ataxias, mitochondrial disorders, and paraneoplastic antibody-mediated neurologic syndromes help to guide evaluation in diseases in which great phenotypic overlap exists. All figures are available in digital format on the accompanying CD-ROM and can be exported for use in PowerPoint. The CD-ROM includes reference information and figures but no text.
Weaknesses: Although comprehensive in its scope, there is limited coverage of some topics. As with any multiauthored text, the chapters vary in length and quality. The practitioner in need of comprehensive knowledge of the literature on any given disease will need to search beyond the concise topic overviews. This deficit is partially mitigated by the accompanying CD-ROM with interactive Internet access to the reference articles for each topic and inclusion of a suggested reading list.
Because the text was not designed to provide comprehensive neuro-ophthalmologic coverage, the presentation of neuro-ophthalmologic materials is fragmented. For example, the neuro-ophthalmology section includes significant coverage of retinal disease but very little information on eye movements. Chapters designed to improve clinical skills are brief.
Recommended Audience: Clinical neurologists will be most apt to find this book useful.
Critical Appraisal: This easy-to-read, user friendly, visually attractive textbook provides excellent and up-to-date reviews of all major topics in clinical neurology. The emphasis on pathophysiologic principles makes it unique among neurology texts.
Janet C. Rucker, MD
Department of Ophthalmology
Mount Sinai Medical Center
New York, New York