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T J Fowler, J W Scadding. London: Arnold, 2003, pp 562, £39.99. ISBN 0-340-80798-9
Clinical neurology is now into it’s third edition since first appearing in 1989 under the original editors Tim Fowler and the late David Marsden, an indication of its popularity in a congested market of similar titles. It provides excellent value as a comprehensive introduction to neurology for medical students, MRCP candidates, other junior doctors, and physicians of all specialties, but does not pretend to have the depth of detail required by more senior neurologists in training or in practice. On looking up a few topics with which medical SHO’s (and their bosses) always seem to have difficulty, I found dysphasia clearly covered, eye movement disorders well described and illustrated, and lateral medullary syndrome mentioned in the text but not in the index. Cord compression, coma, and confusion are each presented well, and there are good overviews of common (and rare) neurological conditions pitched at just the right level for the readership. Chapters on raised intracranial pressure, cerebrovascular disease, epilepsy, infection, spinal disease, and many other topics guide the neurological novice confidently through diagnosis and management. The book is substantially updated from the second (1998) edition, and although there are some hangovers in terminology and illustration, these are only minor caveats in a textbook whose uniformly British contributors have done such a good job. Clinical neurology will continue in this edition as a firm favourite for MRCP trainees, in the GP surgery library, and to inform and stimulate the undergraduate neurology curriculum.