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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Kevin Chapman, MD (Barrow Neurological Institute)
Description: These three volumes contain a collection of succinct chapters on a wide variety of epilepsy topics that includes basic science, evaluation, and treatment.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an easy to use, concise reference to assist busy clinicians in clinical decision making. While other books may have more detail, this book seems to have met its goal, summarizing every topic that may be encountered in the care of epilepsy patients.
Audience: Physicians and other health professionals who care for patients with epilepsy are the intended audience, but level of the book appears to make it most appropriate for neurologists and pediatric neurologists in practice or in training. While medical students and health practitioners would understand the discussions, much of the specialized topics are unlikely to be encountered routinely outside of a neurology practice or teaching institution. The editor and authors are highly regarded as experts in their respective fields.
Features: The book truly attempts to cover all aspects of epilepsy, thus explaining its size. It includes discussions of basic science, diagnosis, and treatment of epilepsies across the age spectrum from neonates to the elderly. The concise nature of each topic, enhanced with numerous illustrations and tables, results in a useful book to turn to during a busy clinic when confronted with a patient with a complicated or rare epilepsy. A few of the chapters need more detailed editing and grammar correction. The shortened format does not lend itself to an exhaustive reference and some topics may have benefitted from more detail. However, the goal was to provide a reference useful to the busy clinician and not an academician researching the minutia of a specific topic.
Assessment: In the last few years, multiple books on epilepsy have been published. This book provides more succinct reviews of topics in epilepsy, while other books such as Epilepsy: A Comprehensive Textbook, 2nd edition, Engel et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008), or Wyllie's Treatment of Epilepsy Principles and Practice, 5th edition, Wyllie et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010), provide more depth with detailed references. The utility of this book will ultimately depend on the needs of the user, but it easily could find a place in a neurology practice or medical library.