Book Review

Neurology and Trauma, 2nd ed.

R. W. Evans, ed.
Oxford, 2006 (802 pages)


Traumatic brain injury is a very widespread and devastating condition, yet surprisingly little is known about its pathology. This book is a collection of short review articles on brain injury from a medical perspective. The format is typical of many multi-author books, where each author writes a short chapter. There is considerable overlap among chapters and relatively little depth or background. For example, the connection between head trauma and Alzheimer's disease is mentioned in several chapters, but never described in any detail. In one article, apolipoprotein E (a protein important in Alzheimer's) is mentioned, but none of the articles discusses the protein's function.

Some chapters (such as the chapter "The Neurobiology of Trauma") are more biochemically oriented, while others have interesting (and occasionally amusing, but usually not at all amusing) case histories. For the most part, the emphasis is strictly on clinical aspects, with most chapters containing little discussion of cellular or biochemical effects. The articles are more or less up to date considering the frustratingly slow progress that has been made in this field; most of the citations are to papers written before 2002. Most of the information in this book would be already familiar to a reader who has read the excellent (but old) textbook Neurological Pathophysiology by Eliasson et al., which is highly recommended. There are also several chapters on peripheral nerves and spinal cord injuries. Because of its clinical bias, Neurology and Trauma would be of greater interest to physicians than to researchers.

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April 7, 2007 Back