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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, DO, MA (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: Behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry share a common philosophy that the brain is the organ of the mind and is the final common pathway for all behavior. These two clinical neuroscientific disciplines focus on the clinical, physiological, and pathological aspects of neural processes manifested as abnormalities of cognition, emotion, and behavior. Psychiatry and neurology evolved into distinct but related medical specialties during the 20th century, with behavioral neurology associated with neurology and neuropsychiatry with psychiatry. These disciplines, however, developed in parallel and remain complementary, given their common historical roots as well as their common interest in cognitive and behavioral neuroscience. Clinically, behavioral neurologists and neuropsychiatrists approach illness similarly, obtaining comprehensive patient histories that emphasize neurodevelopmental and environmental influences on cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and elementary neurological function. The assessment of these functions requires practitioners to have both an extensive knowledge of brain-behavior relationships and the skills to apply that knowledge to clinical practice. Behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry have merged into a single medical subspecialty with accredited training programs and board certification that identifies clinicians "dedicated to caring for persons and families affected by all manner of brain disorders producing cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and sensorimotor disturbances." This outstanding book, written and edited by leaders in the field, represents the current state of the art and science in behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry. It is a very welcome contribution to the neurology and psychiatry literature.
Purpose: The purpose is to "build upon and extend the work of many previous volumes from which we have learned in a comprehensive attempt to draw behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry closer. We present this book in the spirit of promoting this effort for the good of our patients, our profession, and our world." Indeed, the editors and chapter authors have produced a wonderful, integrated clinical neuroscience book representing the current knowledge in this specialty.
Audience: The editors intend this book "primarily for physicians and investigators entering the field or early in their careers." They also note, "Those farther along in their careers may also find information of value in these pages." It is certainly required reading for individuals in behavioral neurology/neuropsychiatry (BNNP) fellowship training programs and those preparing to take the examination for board certification in BNNP.
Features: The first of the book's three sections focuses on structural and functional neuroanatomy with an informative chapter on fundamental brain function and structure. Section 2 covers assessment with very helpful chapters on neuropsychiatric and neuropsychological evaluations along with excellent chapters on brain imaging and electrophysiology. The final section reviews treatment modalities in BNNP, including principles of pharmacotherapy, pharmacotherapy for emotional and behavioral disturbances, rehabilitation, psychotherapy, and "procedural interventions" such as ECT, rTMS, DBS, and neurosurgery. This is a very scholarly book with important and timely citations of the scientific literature at the end of each chapter.
Assessment: This superb book is the most complete and comprehensive publication on this subject to date. It is essential reading for all who call themselves behavioral neurologists or neuropsychiatrists. It is also an essential reference for the care of patients who suffer from neuropsychiatric disorders.