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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: Neurorehabilitation is a rapidly growing field with new neuroradiological techniques available to inform and investigate potential treatments. Thus, this second edition covers the advances since the 1999 first edition.
Purpose: This book provides an update on neurorehabilitation techniques, factors that influence outcomes, new techniques for measuring neurological change, and the use of these approaches in different populations.
Audience: It is targeted at clinicians involved in the hands-on rehabilitation of patients with neurological damage, particularly neuropsychologists, occupational therapists, and physicians. It is also intended to aid students and researchers in these fields. The editors and contributing authors are well known and accomplished in this area.
Features: An introduction to neural plasticity begins the book. Several themes are explored, including the role of experience, hormones, and variability in assessing plasticity and its potential. Issues in translational research are discussed and readers will find references to outcome measurement and principles in evaluating neurorehabilitation research. This is followed by a very user-friendly guide to the basic understanding of neuroradiological films, which segues into chapters that address the application of imaging techniques to neurorehabilitation research. The next section covers various factors that influence the rehabilitation process, including exercise, diet, self awareness, mood, and motivation. While these points are well taken, they are generally brief and provide no information about how to address these factors to optimize outcomes. The review of pharmacological interventions for brain injury and disease is well worth reading. Other cutting-edge approaches receive a fair amount of optimism, tempered by the lack of research at this point. It is only in the final section that actual neurorehabilitation techniques are described in any detail, but it is still only a trifling. The book is generally easy to read and reference, thanks to frequent subsections with bulleted points and a concluding section at the end of each chapter. The references are contemporary and plentiful.
Assessment: Overall, this second edition provides a fruitful review of the state of neurorehabilitation techniques for a variety of diseases and disorders, but the core content on neurorehabilitation is compromised by superfluous extraneous topics that can be found in other books, giving readers a true sense of the limited availability of information directly related to neurorehabilitation. A focused book probably could have been an affordable pocket-sized reference, which indicates just how much the filler drives up the price..