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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Joseph Fink, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This fascinating volume is a compilation of first-hand accounts from doctors and other clinicians who have had various forms of brain damage. About 50 personal stories, spanning the past two centuries, are brought together and organized by Dr. Kapur to illustrate the subjective experiences of these rather special neurological patients.
Purpose: Dr. Kapur's worthy objectives are to provide an archival compendium of these rich records and to also offer thoughtful editorial commentary that highlights salient features of the accounts and places them in the context of current neuroscientific theory and practice. There is really no other text available that so marvelously reveals "views from within" the various cognitive and emotional sequelae that arise from insults to the brain.
Audience: The book is written for students and seasoned professionals in the various clinical neurosciences. In particular, it is sure to offer a treasure trove of illustrative material for teachers who seek to bring to life the consequences of a wide variety of neuropathological conditions.
Features: The physicians, psychologists, and other clinicians who themselves become neurological patients reflect on the neuropsychological consequences with observational clarity, sagacity, wit, and humanity. Dr. Kapur's commentaries provide excellent elucidation of important features of the accounts, placing them in the context of current conceptual understanding of brain-behavior relationships and integrating common threads that run through different authors' writings. The references are largely current and pertinent, and the text is accompanied by helpful illustrations, period photography, and intriguing artwork by patients.
Assessment: The book will be a rich teaching resource and a valuable addition to the personal libraries of clinicians who wish to better understand the phenomenology of various neuropathological conditions.