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Central Nervous System Diseases: Innovative Animal Models From Lab to Clinic
  1. ROGER BARKER

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    Central Nervous System Diseases: Innovative Animal Models From Lab to Clinic. Edited by d i p emerich, r l dean iii,and p r sanberg. (Pp 512, US$145.00). New Jersey: Humana Press, 2000. ISBN 0 896 03724 X.

    This book takes as its main theme the neurodegenerative disorders and animal models of them for assessment and treatment. The book divides into five sections and concentrates on Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease along with traumatic-ischaemic brain damage before concluding with some clinically relevant topics. The authors of each chapter are leaders in their field so that the accounts are generally well written, up to date, and authoritative—although some fields move so fast that some chapters in this book are already out of date. For example, the chapter on transgenic Huntington's disease mouse models by Gill Bates and coworkers is already missing some new interesting pieces of information on the possible pathogenesis of this condition. This having been said the large section, devoted to Huntington's disease in this book is welcome given just what an exciting field of research this is at the moment.

    The overall structure of this book using sectional headings to group chapters is helpful, although the chapters themselves are a little uneven in their presentation. For example, the chapter on neural grafting by Roitberg et al consists of 27 pages of solid text with no figures whereas the chapter by Hantrayeet al on primate models of Huntington's disease combines figures and text. The result is that the second is more accessible whereas the more wordy chapters are off putting even to those of us who are interested in the field. This also applies to the opening chapter on the cholinergic hypothesis of Alzheimer's disease, which can derail the reader before he has really got interested in the rest of the book.

    This book presents an interesting collection of chapters, which provides a useful adjunct to those involved in research in this area of neuroscience, but It is not a book that will appeal to neurologists unless they are keen to update themselves on the emerging new therapies being developed in laboratories around the world. It is therefore a useful addition to the libraries of a few, rather than many which is a pity given its content and relevance to neurology in the next century.

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