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As Alzheimer's disease becomes of increasing importance to society, basic science research in this field needs to provide the building blocks for both therapeutic interventions and accurate diagnosis. This publication is a collection of papers presented at an international Alzheimer's disease research meeting in Leipzig in 1997. This conference aimed to bring together both clinical and basic science disciplines and this is reflected in the papers selected for this book. There are 31 papers included, covering topics from early symptomatology and cognitive features to immunobiology and theoretical neuronal treatment strategies. The contributors to this book are some of the most authoritative in their field, predominantly based in Europe.
Covering all aspects of Alzheimer's disease research from the correct diagnosis to basic science approaches of treatment is ambitious for such a compact book (315 pages), and although the editors succeed in collecting an interesting series of papers around these themes, they make no claims to be comprehensive in their scope. The papers included range from original research reports to reviews of the current literature. The review papers are generally excellent, concise, clear, well referenced, and illustrated—for example, there are excellent reviews of Alzheimer's disease with vascular pathology (Pasquieret al), and Lewy body disease (McKeithet al), great updates on neuropathology (Jellinger and Bancher, Braak et al), and several worthy reviews of treatment strategies for Alzheimer's disease including NSAIDS (Möller), antioxidants, and radical scavengers (Rösler et al). I found the review by Reisburg et al on ontogenic models in the understanding of the management of Alzheimer's disease particularly interesting. However, the papers of original research are of more limited interest to the general reader. Although, as mentioned, the quality of illustrations is good, there is some variability in the definition of abbreviations and occasional lapses into other European languages.
Certainly, I think this book would be of value for investigators interested in the neuropathology, immunopathology, and molecular biology of Alzheimer's disease. It would make an excellent addition to libraries as a reference text for many researchers of varied interests.
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