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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David O. Staats, MD (University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center)
Description: This second edition of multiauthored textbook of neurology in old age updates a 2002 publication.
Purpose: Its purpose is to cover the field of neurology applied to aging. The authors meet these objectives handsomely. As the number of older persons increases, this is a necessary field of study.
Audience: The authors aim this book at a wide readership, ranging from students and practitioners of medicine, geriatrics, and neurology to the full team of persons caring for patients with neurologic disorders. The authors are all well established experts in the field.
Features: In general, the book is divided into four sections: the nature of aging and the aging nervous system, common signs and symptoms in older persons, specific neurologic conditions in older persons, and psychosocial issues in older adults. Throughout there are very useful and clear algorithms. The chapters on dizziness, falls, and syncope (one chapter on each) permit readers to approach these interrelated problems clearly. The book concludes with a thorough discussion of the issue of older persons driving. A very useful appendix lists resources for distinct diseases and conditions, with contact information and web site addresses.
Assessment: This book has much to recommend it. Besides a very good delineation of the neurologic illnesses besetting older persons, there are good discussions of psychiatric illnesses and the effects of medications. These would be complemented by an expanded discussion of delirium and also some treatment of the notion of deconditioning. Since the unit of care in geriatrics is the family, a discussion of involving the family in diagnosis and care of the older person with neurologic diseases, and how to mobilize other team members, both in institutions of healing and in the community, would be useful additions. The tables and beautifully printed brain imaging studies combine with text and algorithms to produce a very satisfying whole.