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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, DO, MA (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: As a neuropsychiatrist who commonly treats patients with the neurobehavioral consequences of epilepsy, I found that this outstanding book provided me with new conceptual insights, practical strategies in management, and an update on current scientific research findings. No longer is it sufficient to just control seizures. The neuropsychiatric complications and quality of life issues have equal if not greater importance. This book is a guide to understanding these issues. Written and edited by a lineup of internationally well known experts in epilepsy and behavior, this book belongs on the shelf of every clinician involved in the care of patients with epilepsy.
Purpose: The purpose is to review epilepsy-related behavioral problems and incorporate "the complementary findings and insights of behavioral scientists from allied fields such as neuropsychiatry, neuropsychology, psychology, social science, and cognitive neuroscience." Indeed, the editors and chapter authors have produced an influential book for current and future clinicians.
Audience: The intended audience includes "all scientists interested in epilepsy and clinicians who treat children, adolescents and adults with epilepsy...."
Features: The first of the book's 10 sections addresses animal models with an interesting chapter on behavior seizure correlates by Heinrichs. Post presents his kindling model of mood disorders as well. Plasticity and neuronal regulation is discussed in the next section on underlying mechanisms. The clinical aspects of seizures and behavior are presented next with excellent reviews of post-ictal phenomena, reflex epilepsy, and behavioral precipitants. Cognitive functioning in patients with epilepsy is discussed in the section on neuropsychological function with an excellent review of memory impairment by Herman and Seidenberg. The neuropsychiatric complications are discussed next with chapters focusing on classification, mood disorders, anxiety, personality disorders, and frontal lobe behaviors. The effects of treatment of cognitive and mood is discussed in the following section. The surgical treatment of epilepsy is summarized in the next section with presurgical evaluation, outcomes, and the myth of silent cortex. Developmental neuropsychiatric aspects of epilepsy are discussed next. The next to last section contains a mix of topics including psychogenic epilepsy, treatment trials in nonepileptic seizures, autism, cortical malformations, ADHD, migraine, brain tumors, and sleep. The final section contains a historical overview and future prospects for the field. Each chapter ends with pertinent and timely citations of the scientific literature.
Assessment: This is an outstanding new book on the psychiatric complications of epilepsy. This will be the "Lishman" of the neuropsychiatry of epilepsy. It is essential reading for all those who care for patients with epilepsy. (Lishman, Organic Psychiatry: The Psychological Consequences of Cerebral Disorder, 3rd edition (Blackwell Publishing, 1998).