May 2011  << Back  

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 BOOK REVIEWS

Neurology for the Non-Neurologist. 6th Edition

Alan D. Schmetzer, MD

Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Edited by William J. Weiner, Christopher G. Goetz, Robert K. Shin, and Steven L. Lewis. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2010; ISBN: 978-1-60547-239-3; pp 650; $69.95 (paperback).

The editors have made significant efforts to improve upon a book that was already quite good in this new, sixth edition. As a start, they have set up a template for internal uniformity despite 4 editors and 39 additional contributors, organizing each chapter to put essential information in intuitively appropriate places. At the conclusion of each chapter there is a highlighted paragraph of things to remember and a series of questions with answers and explanatory discussions.

The book begins with a group of 4 chapters covering the basics: the neurologic exam, history taking, diagnostic testing, and neuroradiology. After chapters devoted to neurologic emergencies and examination of a comatose patient, the remainder of the book is divided by specific neurologic conditions—stroke; headache; epilepsy; sleep disorders; multiple sclerosis; Parkinson’s disease; hyperkinetic movement disorders such as tardive dyskinesia, Huntington’s, Tourette’s, Wilson’s, etc.; dementias; traumatic brain injury; peripheral neuropathy; dizziness/vertigo; CNS infections; and neurologic complications caused by alcohol dependence or cancer. In addition, the editors include chapters on behavioral neurology, approaches to fall risk, neurologic side effects of medications, eye signs in neurology, rehabilitation for neurologic conditions, and medicolegal issues within the field. The book concludes with an extensive subject index.

New contributors have been added with an eye to the book’s future, so I would expect this work to continue in future editions. Most neurologic topics can be reviewed quickly by going to the appropriate chapter, and key points are highlighted for quick reference at the beginning and near the end of each topic. Clinical issues are the mainstay of each subsection, and the book covers its subject matter in a thorough and comprehensive manner. There are at some books on “neurology for psychiatrists,” but this book’s advantage is that it is meant to be a resource for practitioners in not only psychiatry, but other fields as well, such as internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, and surgery, and all of their various subspecialties. Residents and fellows in non-neurologic medical fields also may find the book useful when neurologic questions arise when treating patients on their services.