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A Textbook of SPECT in Neurology and Psychiatry

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    A Textbook of SPECT in Neurology and Psychiatry. Edited by peter p de deyn, r a dierckx, a alavi, and b a pickut. (Pp 580, £95.00.) Published by John Libbey and Co, London, 1997. ISBN 0-86196-542-6.

    The editors claim to provide a “state of the art review of the role of SPECT in neurology and psychiatry”. The 64 chapters are divided into 11 sections, covering dementia, neuropsychology, psychiatry, movement disorders, epilepsy, paediatrics, cerebrovascular disease, tumours, trauma, specific applications, and physical techniques. Although the emphasis is on SPECT, the role of PET is also mentioned. Most chapters represent the results of the authors' research and experience; unfortunately this piecemeal approach does not lend itself to a cohesive text. Although most sections commence with a brief review it would have been conducive for the reader if these reviews were more comprehensive, this could then have provided the entree for the subsequent detailed studies.

    It is unfortunate that the first section on dementia, most probably the major indication for SPECT at present, lacks an overview. Furthermore, there is little mention of the OPTIMA project (Oxford prospective investigation into memory and ageing)—the largest neuroimaging study in the world with histological confirmation. Presumably, this is partially a reflection of the inherent delay in the production of such a wide ranging text.

    In essence this is a reference text, and despite the foregoing criticisms, this book does fulfil a niche in the literature. Neuropsychiatrists, neurosurgeons, psychologists, and other relevant clinical specialists will find their appropriate sections to be extremely useful in demonstrating the contribution of PET/SPECT investigations and also showing the new areas of development. Trainees in nuclear medicine and neuroradiology would benefit by studying the review chapters. Certainly, for the nuclear medicine specialists with an interest in neuroimaging, this text is an essential acquisition.