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From The CriticsReviewer: Katherine Noe, MD, PhD (Mayo Clinic Arizona)
Description: Now in its third edition, this handbook provides a comprehensive overview of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, covering pathophysiology, therapeutic options, and end-of-life care. Information on pharmacologic treatment, both traditional and alternative, and noninvasive respiratory support has been updated from the 2001 publication.
Purpose: The authors have created a guidebook to assist patients, their families, and caregivers throughout their journey with ALS, covering not only symptoms and treatments but also practical issues such as medical equipment needs, finances, and managing end-of-life care. The book fills the need for an open, factual, and detailed source of information in a format accessible to nonclinicians.
Audience: Laypersons diagnosed with or caring for someone with ALS are the intended audience, but the book would also be of use to therapists, primary care providers, and neurologists. Whether the reader is newly diagnosed or facing more advanced disease, this book will serve as a valuable reference. The editor is a recognized leader in the field.
Features: This is a practical review of ALS that starts with presenting symptoms and diagnosis, followed by detailed chapters on physical, occupational, and speech therapy, pharmacologic management, and participation in clinical trials. Balanced discussion of advanced nutritional and ventilatory support and what to expect at end of life are of particular value. The authors strive to present information honestly and in a manner accessible to the layperson, but the subject matter is challenging intellectually and, at times, emotionally.
Assessment: This third edition is a welcome update and will serve as an invaluable resource for readers desiring to educate themselves about ALS and the latest strategies in comprehensive management.