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Edited by Peter W Kaplan, Robert S Fisher. New York: Demos Medical Publishing, 2004, $99.00 (hardcover), pp 296. ISBN 1-888799-83-8
This 300 page hardcover work encompasses four sections: one on general considerations relevant to the topic with specific focus to epileptic versus non-epileptic diagnostic dilemmas; the second section presents different types of non-epileptic spells according to age of presentation; the third section describes other disorders that resemble epileptic seizures such as migraine, vestibular problems, movement disorders, hypereplexia, and startle disorders; and the fourth section focuses on encephalopathies, neuro-endocrine, metabolic and toxic conditions imitating epilepsy. Parasomnias, sleep disorders and narcolepsy as well as cerebral vascular imitators of epilepsy are also well described. The last section is relevant to psychological psychiatric imitators of epilepsy such as hyperventilation syndrome, psychogenic non-epileptic seizures, and panic attacks. Most chapters contain a review of the basic definitions and physiology of the respective differential diagnoses imitating epilepsy followed by the clinical characteristics and case vignettes. Some authors of this co-authored work provide a personal perspective regarding diagnosis and treatment. This book is of particular interest to any clinician working with epilepsy patients as it is to medical students on one side and general neurologists and specialised epileptologists on the other side. The fact that imitators of epilepsy are frequently encountered in non-neurological populations or patients presenting outside neurological services makes this book a useful addition to libraries of non-neurologists as well.