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Progressing from the video cassettes to the CD-ROM is a logical step. The ILAE classification of epileptic seizures is now standard teaching throughout the world. The videoillustrated classification of epileptic seizures was compiled by the Commission of the ILAE from collected EEG video telemetry tapes, mainly from Europe. The editors point out that some of the material is unclear from the source and hence the CD-ROM picture is not optimal. This is certainly true in many cases. It is understandable how difficult it is to produce uniform video recording conditions of epileptic seizures from many countries of the world and at different periods throughout the past 15 years or so. The CD-ROM atlas is accompanied by a manual which attempts to explain the classification of epileptic seizures as well as the epilepsies and then goes on to give details of every case shown on the CD-ROM. Loading the CD-ROM into various computers is rather cumbersome as one has to wait for the loading process to happen and there are no direct short cuts. After the preliminaries on the CD-ROM six sections of the CD are displayed and the user can click and access any one of them. The first is a guided tour of what is available and the second section is on seizure classification. The third section is the video library and case histories, for which it is necessary to refer to the manual. There is an information section and a very interesting self assessment section which is set at various levels of knowledge of epilepsy syndrome.The scoring is on the ability to recognise correctly various seizure types and the scoring system is graded according to the level of error. A special applications section is very interesting; the user can compile a sequence of seizures—for instance, for teaching purposes, and this can be run in whatever way the user requires. Producing this CD-ROM atlas is an excellent idea which will serve not only medical students and doctors but also all of those involved in the care of the patient with epilepsy. Nurses and EEG technologists, both in training and in practice will find the CD most valuable. There are, however, some criticisms and these centre on the quality of some of the videos, which are very difficult to see. The absence of an EEG montage on screen is a great disadvantage. There is a possibility of adding a running commentary on the screen so that the user does not have to refer to the manual which tends to be too descriptive and at times imprecise. The size of the picture on the CD-ROM is another issue which needs to be considered and whether a larger picture is technically feasible. To the amateur user of computers, which perhaps describes many in epilepsy (myself included), I find this CD very interesting and I am sure the Commission will fine tune the CD-ROM in years to come to make it rather more user friendly. Apart from the criticisms above, this is a most valuable addition to our knowledge and understanding of epileptic seizures. Many neurology departments throughout the world will find this a most interesting purchase.
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