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Neurosurgical re-engineering of the damaged brain and spinal cord
  1. P J Kirkpatrick

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    Edited by Y Katayama. Published by Springer Wien, New York, 2003, pp 179, €108 (hardback). ISBN 3-211-00920-5

    Katyama, on behalf of the Neurorehabilitation Committee of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies, has brought together essays presented at a Neurorehabilitation Committee Meeting held in 2002.

    Each chapter represents multi-author presentations largely derived from Japan. The manuscript consists of nine subsections addressing aspects of coma, restorative neurosurgery, early rehabilitation, functioning imaging, neurosurgical intervention, pain control, and neural transplantation. The editors have achieved a comfortable balance between scientific and clinical presentation. For example, the first section on monoaminergic and cholinergic pathologies for sleep and wakefulness in the rat model demonstrates elegant physiology, followed by clinical papers that explore median nerve stimulation effects on conscious levels in comatose patients. Both address mechanisms relevant to the reticular activating system.

    Novel methods for functional imaging of brain abnormalities are well represented, with particular reference to modern MRI sequencing. Specific surgical procedures to reconstruct nerve damage and therapeutic lesioning and muscular grafting for cerebral palsy are also covered.

    Finally, there are a number of papers relating to various deep brain stimulators for the control of dystonia, pain, and other movement disorders. From a surgical perspective this is an interesting area showing expansion and considerable promise.

    In summary, this volume represents a collation of mostly Japanese papers exploring different aspects of surgical manoevres which promise to improve outcome for a variety of brain and spine injured individuals. I recommend this book to those involved in the chronic rehabilitation of central nerve injured individuals and those neurosurgeons who seek subspecialisation in this area.