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Edited by Andrew G Engel, Clara Franzini-Armstrong. New York: Published by McGraw-Hill, 2004, $395.00 (hardback), pp 1960. ISBN 0-07-137180X.
This is the third edition of an established two volume text covering all aspects of human muscle disease. Since the second edition in 1994 rapid advances in the molecular genetic understanding of a range of muscle diseases have occurred. Indeed some diseases, such as muscle channelopathies, have only been fully recognised as distinct entities during this period. These huge advances are reflected in a complete and up-to-date revision. Myology contains 70 chapters divided into three parts: Part 1, Scientific basis of muscle disease; Part 2, General approaches to neuromuscular disease; and Part 3, Diseases of muscle. All chapters are well constructed and written by authorities in each field. It is likely to be parts 2 and 3 that are of most interest to the readers of the JNNP. Part 2 is full of practical information. In particular the chapters on clinical examination and electrodiagnosis will be of interest to clinicians frequently encountering patients with neuromuscular symptoms and will also be valuable for trainees. Also in part 2 is an informative chapter on the evolving clinical uses of imaging in the investigation of muscle disease. It seems clear that MRI is going to play an increasing role in the evaluation of muscle diseases in the future. Part 3 contains comprehensive chapters on all of the known human muscle diseases. More genes have been discovered in the area of muscle disease than in virtually any other area within neurology in the past few years. This is reflected in the fact that 21 of the 30 chapters describing individual muscle diseases are given over to genetic disorders, including the muscular dystrophies, congenital myopathies, muscle channelopathies, genetic inclusion body myopathies, and the metabolic myopathies. I found it difficult to fault any of these chapters. The continuing challenges involved in understanding the molecular pathogenesis of and in treating the inflammatory myopathies are well covered. The final seven chapters of part 3 cover disorders of neuromuscular transmission, neuropathies, and neuronopathies. Myology the third edition must have been a mammoth task to produce and the editors are to be congratulated. I think there is plenty of accessible information, of practical use for clinicians and trainees dealing with muscle disease. I can thoroughly recommend this text.