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Edited by Norman Delanty (Pp 352, US$125.00). Published by the Humana Press, New Jersey, 2002. ISBN 0-89603-827-0
This book is unusual among books about seizures because it focuses on acute symptomatic (“situation-related”) seizures, rather than “epilepsy” (although there is inevitably some overlap between the two). It provides definitions and describes the epidemiology and pathophysiology of acute symptomatic seizures in the initial section, which is followed by chapters detailing the specific circumstances in which such seizures are likely to occur, often (although not invariably) including points of management specific to the situation. Subjects covered include seizures occurring in the context of multisystem disease, infection, hypoxic-ischaemic cardiopulmonary conditions, endocrine disorders, cancer, and other conditions. Situation-related seizures occurring as a result of drugs or alcohol misuse are also addressed, as are those occurring in the intensive care situation, and the difficult, but important, differentiation of seizures from syncope. The book ends with a very practical chapter entitled “Anticonvulsants in acute medical illness”, in which the considerations affecting the choice of antiepileptic drug in the acute situation are reviewed.
Although situation-related seizures are usually discussed in books about epilepsy, they do appear to constitute a distinct group in a number of respects including prognosis. To a certain extent the topics discussed in the book form a rather disparate group linked only by their tendency to cause such seizures as a reflection of central nervous system disturbance. Nevertheless, they are all conditions likely to be encountered at various times by general physicians, neurologists, and those working in the accident and emergency department, and this book, which is both readable and comprehensively referenced, will be of interest to all these groups.
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