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Edited by Thomas Brandt, Louis R Caplan, Johannes Dichgans, H Christoph Diener, and Christopher Kennard. Published by Academic Press, 2003, pp 1150. £165.00. ISBN 0-12-125831-9
This is a large reference book, not to be read from cover to cover. It weighs over 2 kg (the limits of kitchen scales) so cannot easily be carried in a rucksack. This is the second edition, revised and updated with some additional chapters. There are five major editors and approximately 200 different contributors in total, most of whom are national or international experts. There are 107 chapters with 1540 pages, so it is comprehensive.
The emphasis is on course and treatment, which are poorly covered in other major texts on neurology, necessitating this book, which has become a very welcome addition. Unfortunately it also covers clinical aspects too. This is perhaps the major weakness of the book. Concentrating on prognosis and therapy alone would have abbreviated it, made the material easier to access, and ensured that natural history and therapy are covered in every chapter, which is not always the case. In the main, however, this book’s emphasis on natural history and treatment is helpful. Most of the chapters are very useful in this respect and I am sure that it will be very valuable for trainees in neurology particularly.
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