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Vascular dementia

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    Vascular dementia. Edited by john stirling meyer et al (Pp 320, US$88.00). Published by Futura Publishing, Armonk, 2001. ISBN 0 87993 425 5.

    This is a short text of 306 pages in 17 chapters covering vascular dementia.

    Although it is a multiauthor text, there are only 11 authors so many of the chapters have authors in common. The principal editor, Dr Meyer, coauthors no less than 10 of the 17 chapters. As a result of this many authorities are not included among the list of contributors and some of the chapters are not fully authoritative.

    The text gives a fairly good overview of the subject, although there are some unusually prominent inclusions including full chapters on plasmaphoresis and estrogen replacement therapy in the treatment of vascular dementia, neither of which are recognised treatments. Some of the more important recently recognised conceptual issues, including the very high preponderance of mixed dementia (vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease) and the issue of diagnosis before reaching the state of being demented are scarcely covered at all. The limitations of the current formal diagnostic criteria for vascular dementia are touched on, but not considered in detail and the chapter on diagnosis really does not help in this respect.

    Overall, this book provides an adequate background to the subject but a person interested in the topic would need to look elsewhere for some of the more recent critical issues.