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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jesse Taber, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: The third edition of this book is a concise, yet thorough, review of epilepsy management written by authors with impeccable credentials: Dr. Theodore is the current Chief of the Clinical Epilepsy Section at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the NIH, a position that Dr. Porter previously held.
Purpose: The prevalence of epilepsy in the U.S. is somewhere between one and two million people, many of whom need ongoing care from physicians. Despite the frequency of this condition, its underlying principles are often mysterious to many physicians, resulting in misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment.
Audience: This extremely useful book should have a wide appeal to neurologists and neurosurgeons as well as primary care physicians who treat patients with epilepsy.
Features: This book is divided into 100 very brief, readable chapters, each from one to several pages long and covering a separate principle. Most of the chapters cover diagnosis and therapy, but there are also small sections on the approach to the patient, psychosocial aspects, and the future of epilepsy research. The information is well referenced and current, including chapters on new antiepileptic drugs, epilepsy surgery, and vagal nerve stimulation. The very first chapter, "The Brain Is Just Another Body Organ," shows how sensible the authors' approach is in demystifying epilepsy. Other chapters, including "Aggression and Violence Are Extremely Uncommon During Epileptic Seizures" and "Diplopia Is the Most Common Dose-Related Side Effect of High Plasma Carbamazepine Levels," illustrate a unique aspect of this text: you could gain practical knowledge by simply reading the table of contents.
Assessment: Drs. Theodore and Porter have done a remarkable job of distilling a vast quantity of information into practical and straightforward guidelines on epilepsy management.