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Edited by Jonathan H Pincus and Gary J Tucker. Published by Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, pp 267. ISBN 0-19-513782-5.
The fourth edition of Behavioral neurology is an update of a slim volume aimed primarily at undergraduates. In the 18 years since the previous edition, quite a lot has happened in neuroscience, neurology, and psychiatry. The new volume has therefore been considerably updated to include insights from areas such as molecular biology and brain imaging. In these areas there is a little repetition between chapters, and occasional errors of nomenclature. One surprising omission is any discussion of the large and rapidly growing area of cognitive neuroscience, which has provided valuable insights into the relationship between cognitive function and psychiatric or neurological disorders of cognition.
The content of the book is weighted somewhat towards psychiatric disease, and the selection of neurological disorders may surprise behavioural neurologists. For example, while a whole chapter is dedicated to exploring the neurobiological origins of violence, hemispatial neglect (a common and disabling disorder seen in up to two thirds of patients with acute stroke) is not mentioned at all in the text! Similarly, the pharmacologic therapy of movement disorders receives a similar space allocation to discussion of the whole of Alzheimer’s disease.
These imbalances apart, this book represents an interesting source of information for medical students and psychology students about neurological and psychiatric disorders affecting human behaviour.
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