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Edited by N J Douglas (Pp 242, £29.99). Published by Edward Arnold Publishers, London, 2002. ISBN: 0340 742054
As the preface to this book states, the last 30 years has seen a rapid growth in the awareness of sleep disorders. In particular epidemiological studies have shown that obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome is a prevalent disease that causes significant mortality. However, as readers of this journal will be well aware, not all sleep problems are respiratory related and any clinician working in this area needs to be familiar with all types of sleep disorders in order to make a differential diagnosis. A strength of this book is that it provides basic information on all common clinical sleep presentations; for each a brief outline is backed up with key references.
The author is an international authority on sleep related breathing disorders, and indeed many of the recent randomised placebo controlled trials showing symptomatic improvements following the treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome have been carried out in his laboratory. Therefore it is not surprising that the book provides an authoritative overview in this area. The non-respiratory sleep disorders are less well covered; although, it could justifiably be argued that this bias merely reflects the lack of research in these disorders. Areas where there is a lack of evidence to support clinical practice are clearly stated.
In summary, this is highly readable book that and provides practical information for those interested in broadening their knowledge of the management of with patients that present with common sleep disorders. Above all it makes the crucial point that education is the key for those working in this area—this simple book is likely to be a valuable resource for those seeking such an education.
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