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Stewart A Factor, William J Weiner. New York: Demos Medical Publishers 2002, pp 716, $175.00. ISBN 1-888-799-50-1.
This multi-authored tome on Parkinson’s disease (PD) admirably captures the complexity and diversity of the many clinical challenges and scientific problems that surround this common neurodegenerative disorder. Contributions over 58 chapters embrace an international body of expertise, with a pronounced north American emphasis, and range from discussing the early history of the condition to a welcome section on social issues, with in depth attention paid to the clinical presentation, including psychological features, structural and chemical pathology, theories of aetiopathogenesis, drug, surgical, and other treatments, and atypical and familial forms of parkinsonism. The text is generously referenced and well-illustrated with black and white figures. There are impressive chapters on the contribution of MPTP to our understanding of PD, genetic and environmental factors, and the drug classes employed in treatment as well as the complications of treatment, including dyskinesia and motor fluctuations. Proper attention is given to the management of psychosis and cognitive decline, with discussion of the relationship of these features in PD to dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer type pathology. Future avenues of treatment, including neuroprotection and gene therapy, are also covered in this near encyclopaedic compendium, which is highly recommended for all those who treat patients with PD in neurology, geriatrics, and old age psychiatry departments, as well as research scientists in the field, and it should be required reading for all neurological trainees.