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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jessica Brand Kraker, MD (University of Maryland School of Medicine)
Description: This pocket-sized handbook outlines all the important information that can be found in the much heftier 11th edition of Merritt's Neurology (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005). The outline and tables provide all the essentials for a quick reference to its counterpart.
Purpose: The authors' intent was to provide a concise, easily accessible version of the information in the accompanying textbook. This book does fill a useful purpose, when you are on the wards or between patients in clinic and you want to quickly review possible differential diagnoses and how to test and interpret the tests for such diagnoses. The authors have done a fine job meeting their purpose.
Audience: The authors intend the book to be used by a wide variety of readers, including medical students, residents, nurses, and other health professionals. The handbook is well suited for this audience, making a daunting textbook much more accessible. The authors are practitioners and professors in neurology.
Features: The handbook covers all pertinent topics in the practice of general neurology, including definitions, differential diagnoses, and tables of pertinent laboratory findings. The quick overview of the topics gives the reader a quick glance at the most important points on a particular subject, helping the users to narrow their differential if treating patients, and widen their knowledge if reading as a study guide. Some topics are glossed over with a brief sentence, requiring further investigation into the original source. The references are not listed in the handbook, which helps to make it a portable size, but they can be found in the corresponding chapters in the large text.
Assessment: This compact overview of the information in the larger textbook provides a practical, user-friendly way to introduce the reader to the complex field of neurology. While not detailed enough to be used as a primary study source on its own, it does give direction as to which chapters of the text would be beneficial to read. This handbook is a convenient, informative guide to the knowledge necessary for training in neurology.