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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Korwyn Williams, MD, PhD (Phoenix Children's Hospital)
Description: Well-written chapters ranging from neuro-embryology to the autonomic nervous system are beautifully supported by illustrations and photographs in this book that bring the nervous system into full relief.
Purpose: The editors sought to cover the nervous system and our expanding knowledge about it, but in a more user-friendly fashion by taking a systems approach (e.g., basal ganglia) and using clinical vignettes. Neuro-anatomy was not a favorite course of mine and nearly killed any interest I had in neurology as a preclinical medical student. However, I found myself eagerly flipping through chapters and page after page of illustrations, electron microscopy images, and histology images and I felt compelled to share this with our neurology residents.
Audience: The book is written for any student of anatomy, from the beginning of training to late in a medical career. Its organization lends itself to a quick review or more in-depth study of a particular topic.
Features: The editors start small, beginning with the anatomy of the cell, and gradually expand the discussion to nuclei, tracts, and systems. The discussion then moves to neuro-embryology, vasculature, and ventricular anatomy. The remainder of the book is organized by more functional regions, including the brainstem and cranial nerves, cerebrum, neuromuscular junction, etc. To be honest, I don't know if the book's organization is so much more appealing to me now as a practicing neurologist or whether it is just well written and edited. I really enjoyed the wealth of images, which consolidate and complement the text.
Assessment: I still get a bit giddy about this book. It would have been wonderful to have it years ago (I will not say how many) when I was taking neuro-anatomy. It is a wonderful book for anyone who deals with the nervous system at any level of training.