Description: The editors present a succinct compilation of current clinical knowledge of the most commonly encountered dementia syndromes. Each section addresses pathophysiology, diagnostic strategies, therapeutics, and research advances for a particular dementia syndrome, including Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and frontotemporal dementia.
Purpose: The purpose is to summarize evidence from basic and clinical sciences in a format accessible to general practitioners and mental health professionals, a laudable goal. Though the editors achieve their goal of summarizing a complex topic concisely, readers outside the fields of cognitive and behavioral neurology may find some of the terminology unfamiliar.
Audience: This book is best suited for practicing neurologists who see predominantly geriatric patients. The nuances of clinical and pathologic overlap between the disorders as well as the promise and pitfalls of developing diagnostic and therapeutic techniques will likely go beyond the practical needs of busy general practitioners. The editors and authors are leaders in the field.
Features: A particular strength of the book is the emphasis on the need for earlier detection and intervention for these disorders. Similarly, it points out the potential and limitations of developing diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in a balanced fashion. One drawback is the assumption that readers are familiar with certain cognitive assessment instruments several are mentioned as being useful, yet detailed instructions on how to use the instruments in clinical practice are not provided.
Assessment: This book achieves its goal of providing an overview of current clinical practice in dementia. Although it ventures into the realm of subspecialists at times, it provides ample practical knowledge for busy clinicians. Though concise, each section provides sufficient detail for readers to get an overview of core information as well as exposure to the latest developments in the field. This book will be more accessible to general neurologists or geriatricians compared to other books covering similar material, such as Principles of Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology, 2nd edition, Mesulam (Oxford University Press, 2000).