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This is a remarkable and ongoing exercise. The Oxford Medical Database consists of the London Dysmorphology Database (LDDB) and the London Neurogenetics Database (LNDB). The Dysmorphology Database has information on over 2800 non-chromosomal multiple congenital anomaly syndromes and includes over 25 000 references. The London Neurogenetics Database contains details of over 2600 syndromes affecting the central and peripheral nervous system in adults and children. On a separate disc is a library of clinical photographs and alsox ray films illustrating many of the conditions contained on the database. How does the system work in practice? For each programme, an alphabetical list of conditions is presented. Various options can then be entered. Syndrome details provide a resumé of the condition, accompanied in some instances by illustrations which in the stand alone CD-ROM are of small size and of no particular value. If, however, the photolibrary is used alongside the data base then each photograph can be clicked on to present a full size demonstration of the clinical syndrome or the relevant imaging. These images are generally of high quality. They have been acquired from various sources including the author’s own clinical atlas published by Wolff. Understandably, some of the syndromes are not illustrated and no doubt these areas of deficit will gradually shrink as time passes and more illustrations become available. For each syndrome an abstract is provided along with a features section which details the main manifestations of a particular syndrome, and, finally, selected references for that particular disorder. At any time all the syndromes and indeed all the references on the individual databases can be displayed. This is a remarkable enterprise which will prove invaluable for those clinicians and geneticists who deal regularly with the disorders under review. Its value, of course, stands or falls by the frequency with which the material is revised. It is the intention of the publishers to achieve this on a regular basis and, providing that is fulfilled, I can recommend the database unreservedly.
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