book reviews

Neurology and Neuropathology books
Reviewed by: T.J. Nelson

Neuroanatomy Through Clinical Cases
Hal Blumenfeld
Sinauer, 2002 (951 pages)

F or some fascinating Christmas reading, I recommend Neuroanatomy Through Clinical Cases. This book, oriented toward medical students, teaches basic neuroanatomy in short chunks, interspersed with lectures on performing the neurological exam, interpreting CT scans and MRIs, and bits of neuropathology relevant to the diagnosis. The reader is then tested by being asked to diagnose one or more clinical cases, which are presented with CT and MRI scans. The case and its clinical outcome are then explained. This is a remarkably effective way of teaching the material. Contains numerous MRI and CT images, color diagrams, and high-quality photos.

dec 28, 2010

Greenfield's Neuropathology, 8th ed
Seth Love, David N Louis, and David W Ellison, eds
Hodder Arnold, 2008 (2244 pages)

W hen some Internet bookseller gave me a 50% off coupon, I immediately ordered a copy of Greenfield's Neuropathology. The question is not whether Greenfield is better than its competitors, but whether there are any serious competitors at all. This book's only drawback is that after buying it, you may not be able to pay your rent or buy food for a few months. But that's a minor inconvenience for such an important book.

If you're considering reading this book, you already know what's in it: everything. Is this book better than that famous traditional Christmas movie where Christina Ricci turns into a werewolf, throws out all the silverware, and starts going around biting people? I'd say there's no contest.

Disclaimer: I have not yet read this book in its entirety.
dec 20, 2009

Neurology and Trauma, 2nd ed.
R. W. Evans, ed. Oxford, 2006 (802 pages)

T raumatic 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.

apr 7, 2007