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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Alexander Kolchinsky, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This is a comprehensive, fundamental review of immunology of the nervous system. Written by a group of leading scholars, it is thoughtfully compiled, carefully edited, and conveniently structured. The book consists of 22 chapters divided into five sections: a brief history of neuroimmunology; basic concepts; immunologically active cells in the nervous system; cellular and humoral responses in the nervous system reviewed at all levels; and neuroimmunology of selected diseases, with individual chapters on demyelinating diseases, AIDS, and tumors of the CNS. Two chapters deal with immunology of the eye, a topic that usually stands apart from both disciplines. Among other subjects, practical issues of cell transplantation and viral infections in the CNS are addressed. Expression of cytokine molecules is presented in great detail.
Purpose: The purpose of the book is stated in its eloquent preface. It is intended to give a comprehensive description of differences, similarities, functional overlapping, and interactions of the immune and nervous systems. In particular, this up-to-date book challenges some widespread concepts, first of all the exclusive immuno-privileged status of the CNS.
Audience: As stated in the preface, this book is not just for specialists, but also for students, postdoctoral fellows, and residents at all levels, and will remain the reference for years to come.
Features: The book has an extensive and useful list of abbreviations and a convenient index. It is rather sparingly illustrated with black-and white-schemes, drawings, and microphotographs. Many concepts are presented as concise tables.
Assessment: The book summarizes the achievements of a relatively new field born at the crossroads of two disciplines. Its value for anyone in fields related to immunology or neuroscience cannot be overestimated.