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Hormone Therapy and the Brain: a Clinical Perspective on the Role of Oestrogen.
  1. KIRSTY HARKNESS

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    Hormone Therapy and the Brain: a Clinical Perspective on the Role of Oestrogen. By v w henderson. (Pp 112, £28.00). Published by Parthenon Publishing Group, Carnforth, 2000. ISBN 1–85070–078–8.

    The role of sex steroids in neurological disease is a topic of importance in our aging population and very worthy of discussion. This book is set out in chapters focusing on different individual subspecialties, including dementia, vascular disease, and epilepsy, with an initial backdrop of basic science followed by a discussion of clinical studies and observations. The chapters are concise and well illustrated with pathological material, photographs, and bright flow diagrams. They provide an informative introduction to the field, but lack depth of discussion in clinical applications.

    Study findings are often summarised in histogram format, but lack confidence intervals, thus limiting the visual interpretation of data. Studies summarised in figures and tables are numerically referenced and thus do not instantly draw the reader to named research groups whose material would be of further interest.

    As a clinician the discussion of dementia caught my interest and the argument for detailed controlled trials of oestrogen in Alzheimer's disease seemed most compelling, perhaps reflecting the author's clear interest in this field.

    Overall, this is a relatively light read which serves as an excellent introduction to the field, easily accessible to medical students and junior neuroscientists. I think that it would be a worthy addition to the university library, but the text lacks sufficient meatiness to inspire purchase by the individual neurologist.

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