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Neuropathology and genetics of dementia: advances in experimental medicine and biology, volume 487
  1. D M A Mann

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    Edited by Markus Tolnay and Alphonse Probst. (Pp 270, £63). Published by Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York, 2001. ISBN 0 306 46558 2

    This book represents the Proceedings of the XVIIIth International Winter Meeting of the Swiss Society of Neuropathology, held in St Moritz in March 2000. This is written as a series of short articles and longer reviews, rather than the usual unstructured cluster of synopses of experimental findings presented orally at such scientific gatherings. Thematically, the review articles focus on the role of abnormal aggregated or misfolded proteins in the brains of persons with diverse neurodegenerative diseases. Accordingly, there are chapters detailing the pathology and genetics of tauopathies, amyloidopathies and synucleinopathies, coupled with other chapters covering ubiquitin and polyglutamine disorders, inclusion body myositis and neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses. The possible role of mitochondrial dysfunction in such disorders is discussed. Overall, the chapters are of a uniformly high standard and of sufficient breadth and depth to be useful and interesting to the specialist and casual reader alike. Rapid publication has ensured that most contributions are still well within their shelf life, although the camera ready format in which the volume has been prepared means the inclusion of occasional typographical and referencing errors, and a rather poor reproduction quality to the figures, particularly the half tones. The last is a particular shortcoming, given the weight of text devoted to neuropathological description. None the less, there is much useful information in this book, set out in a readable and up to date manner. It can be recommended particularly to junior researchers and physicians, who will find it a comprehensive and easily accessible reference. Lastly, it is noted in the acknowledgements that the editors were ably and fortunately assisted by a certain Michelle Pfeiffer—surely not that one!

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