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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jesse Taber, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This is a comprehensive review of the medical and social aspects of seizures, written for patients and their families. It is divided into six parts covering medical aspects, diagnosis and treatment, epilepsy in children and adults, legal and financial aspects, and resources for people with epilepsy.
Purpose: The purpose is to empower people with epilepsy toward achieving a better quality of life, a topic on which the author has widely published.
Audience: Although this book is written for the layperson, it is a wonderful review for any health care worker, whether physician, nurse, or social worker, involved in the care of people with epilepsy. And for patients and their families, it is a wonderfully complete and readable source.
Features: This is a compact paperback, with a well organized table of contents and complete index. There is a wealth of useful information regarding day-to-day living, including some very thoughtful chapters on parenting, pregnancy, and family and personal relationships. The book also contains explanations of legal rights, employment, and medical insurance. There are a limited number of relevant illustrations and photographs, including patients undergoing EEG testing, neuroimaging procedures, diagrams of neuroanatomy, and color photographs of anticonvulsant medications. The last 14 pages of text contain definitions of medical terminology, selected references, and addresses of pertinent organizations.
Assessment: This is a superbly written book. The author's style is concise, yet clearly explains complicated medical issues. His tone throughout is marked by his obvious concern and respect for people with epilepsy. As a neurologist whose practice is largely focused on adults with epilepsy, I am now advising all of my newly diagnosed patients (and most of those with known seizure disorders) to get this book. I will also recommend that our neurology residents read this book, for it provides a window into the lives of our patients and can empower us as well.