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There is something about the anachronistic binding of the Handbook of Clinical Neurology series that is rather reassuring. Surely if classic phenomenological neurology is to be found anywhere, it will be between these fake leather embossed covers. This volume, the second of three on the neurology of systemic diseases, does nor disappoint. Here, in 450 pages of close type and few illustrations, are covered the neurology of orthopaedic, endocrine, gastrointestinal, and metabolic disorders. Goetz and Aminoff, the volume editors, have assembled an authoritative panel of authors that equitably straddle the Atlantic. There are detailed reviews of familiar territory such as diabetes, orthopaedic trauma, thyroid diseases, and porphyria. Cole’s historical survey of B12 deficiency is particularly fine. In addition there are excellent chapters on more arcane topics—for instance the neurology of pancreatic transplantation and intestinal pseudo-obstruction. Perhaps the movement disorders associated with coeliac disease could have been mentioned and a chapter on the neurology of inflammatory bowel disorders is certainly lacking. But these are trifling complaints against a text that, with its twin volumes, is significantly more comprehensive than any other account of the neurology of systemic diseases. It is hard to imagine a practicing neurologist requiring (or easily affording) a personal copy of all three volumes, but the local medical library should certainly buy them; both neurologists and general physicians will work the better for having them close to hand.
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