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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Bryan Woodruff, MD (Mayo Clinic Arizona)
Description: This comprehensive overview of the various dementia syndromes includes practical information on clinical management as well as current research trends.
Purpose: It describes a modern approach to the evaluation of not only common causes of dementia such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinsonian disorders, but also the less common entities such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and dementia mimics. The introductory section also covers important basic neuroscience approaches to dementia, including neurogenetics, neuroimaging, neuropathology, and epidemiology. Including such diverse topics in a single book is a worthy goal, and the authors succeed while maintaining a cohesive theme throughout.
Audience: According to the authors, the book is designed to be a guide "to both the novice and expert" in dementia. Though many chapters provide straightforward information useful to nonspecialists caring for dementia patients, certain sections are somewhat technically dense and less practical, though certainly of interest to experts in the field. The authors are esteemed leaders in the field of dementia care and research.
Features: The book comprehensively covers the major dementia syndromes, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinsonian disorders (dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson's disease with dementia, progressive supranuclear palsy, and corticobasal degeneration), vascular dementia, subtypes of frontotemporal dementia including the progressive aphasias, and rare forms of dementia such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The prodromal phase of dementia, mild cognitive impairment, is also covered, as are the active areas of research in the field of dementia such as neuroimaging techniques as well as neurogenetics and animal model approaches to identify more effective therapies for dementia. The chapters on neurogenetics, neuroimaging, and neuropathology are particularly informative, covering complex topics in an approachable fashion. Organizing the book into chapters on certain disorders or aspects of assessment allows readers to quickly find areas of interest, but unfortunately introduces some redundancy. However, the order of the chapters is somewhat atypical — novices in dementia would likely prefer to see high-yield topics such as mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease early in the book, but the introductory chapter is followed instead by a chapter on dementia with Lewy bodies and then a review of the neurogenetics of dementia.
Assessment: This is an authoritative and comprehensive review of topics for clinicians seeing patients with both common and rare presentations of dementia. Though the organization of the book could be better and there is some repetition, overall this is a valuable clinical resource. Topics often neglected in behavioral neurology books are covered here, such as the later chapters reviewing dementia mimics and the recognition and management of delirium.