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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Philip Khoury, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This historically and biologically oriented presentation of trauma is written by a neurologist who is an expert on whiplash injury.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide evidence for a biological root for somatic and emotional consequences of traumatic stress. It is a timely subject, given recent events. The author largely achieves the goal.
Audience: The target audience includes professionals in the fields of rehabilitation and psychotherapy, patient care, and general medical practice. The book is not intended for lay people.
Features: Using the example of the whiplash victim, the author delineates the biological changes caused by trauma as the root of somatic sensations and alterations in mental status. What is best about the book is that it presents this evidence in a well organized and compelling style. There are few figures, which are of little pedagogic value. The index, concluding remarks at the end of each chapter, and a large endnote section are very useful.
Assessment: This is a well written presentation of the available evidence linking mental status to biological changes caused by trauma. However, this information is adequately covered in other sources, such as in the chapter on Stress and Psychiatry in Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 7th edition (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2000). The book's usefulness would be much greater if the section on treatment was expanded.