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Botulinum Toxin in the Treatment of Cerebral Palsy.
  1. MICHAEL P BARNES

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    Botulinum Toxin in the Treatment of Cerebral Palsy. Edited by werner poewe and jörg wissell. (CD Rom) Published by Blackwell Science, Austria, 1997. ISBN 3-89412-364-8.

    It was a pleasure to review this CD Rom. It is certainly a sign of changing times that the book review section now also contains reviews of CD Rom material. This is basically a review of the use of botulinum toxin in the treatment of cerebral palsy built around a meeting held in the Department of Neurology in Innsbruck in May 1997. The CD Rom contains the talks of eight speakers recorded at the time. While listening to the speaker's voice the slides come on and off the screen at the right moment. Thus, it is simply like being at the talk itself in Innsbruck. If this idea catches on then we may begin to see the end of international medical travel! The final section contains two videos regarding botulinum treatment of ankle clonus and dynamic equinus foot deformity as well as treatment of an unusual self mutilating condition. However, there is no explanation or sound with these videos and this section is thus rather a waste of time. I suspect this is a technical fault as the quality of the video pictures was very good but obviously needed some verbal context to make any sense.

    The content of the previous sections mainly focuses on the use of botulinum toxin in cerebral palsy both in the treatment of upper and lower limb problems. Whilst the talks contained nothing new (and were now about 2 years out of date) they were certainly a comprehensive summary of the state of knowledge at that time. My main objection is that the talks were not edited and thus each talk averaged around 15 minutes; this amounted to considerable time sitting and listening. A certain amount of judicious editing and streamlining of the CD Rom would have been useful. Frankly it may have been better for the talks and the slides to be specifically written with a CD Rom in mind. However, this is a rather minor point and overall I found the CD Rom easy to use, instructive, and certainly a novel way of imparting information. I suspect that we shall see a lot more of this methodology in the coming years and this is to be welcomed.

    Finally, it is worth pointing out that the computer system requirements are quite high to run the video adequately. Preferably a modern Pentium machine is required with at least 16 Mb of Ram and obviously a multimedia configuration with a high quality sound card.

    Overall, a novel approach to an important topic and one to be recommended.

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