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Disorders of the Brain and Mind

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    Disorders of the Brain and Mind. Edited by maria a ron andanthony s david. (Pp 375, £55.00). Published by Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998. ISBN 0-521-47306-3.

    In choosing the title for this book, the editors have wisely avoided the use of the term “neuropsychiatry”, which in Britain, at least, implies a primarily psychiatric audience. I think that this book should be read by a much wider audience, including neurologists interested in behaviour and cognition. There are relatively few books available that bridge this important divide. The editors have assembled an impressive international cast who cover most of the hot topics at the interface of neurology and psychiatry.

    The first section is dedicated to the frontal lobes with contributions from neuropsychology and frontal lobe abnormalities on structural scanning in schizophrenia. The second section deals with basal ganglia disorders with excellent overviews of neuropsychological findings and behavioural psychopharmacology. The third section is dedicated to memory and its disorders, with extremely readable overviews of advances and controversies in the neuropsychology of memory and clinical disorders. The fourth section deals with psychiatric manifestations of patients with a known brain pathology and structural imaging in the psychoses. Stricter editorial intervention could have avoided some redundancy and overlap with an earlier chapter. Section five covers for what is for many people the central ground of neuropsychiatry—namely, epilepsy—with excellent accounts of the behavioural and psychiatric changes seen in the context of chronic epilepsy. The sixth section takes a developmental perspective, particularly related to schizophrenia, and the final two chapters of the book deal with advances in brain imaging, namely magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging of patients with hallucinations.

    The editors have deliberately decided not to write a comprehensive textbook, but rather to choose areas of advance and controversy, and in doing so have produced a very readable text. The book is in many ways a celebration of the immense contributions of Professor Alwyn Lishman to the study of the brain and mind. I can thoroughly recommend it to everyone working in this exciting area.

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