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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Alexander Kolchinsky, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This book describes some basic methods of molecular studies in pathology of CNS disorders and gives selected examples of their application. All 11 chapters are written by different authors.
Purpose: The book is divided into two parts, the first on techniques and the second on their applications. All chapters are presented in different format with no apparent involvement of the editors. Part 1 contains a chapter on brain banks compiled in very general terms with no specific recommendations; a chapter on PCR with no specific reference to CNS, a chapter on RNA isolation with some useful notes; and chapters on in situ hybridization, immunocytochemistry, and autoradiography. Only one chapter contains an experimental protocol (immunostaining procedure). The second part of the book was intended to illustrate the application of the methods described in the first. Indeed, chapters on prion diseases and amyloidoses are fully relevant. The chapter on intracerebral transplantations, though quite informative, lies more on the physiological side. The chapter on transgenic animals belongs rather to the first part because of the complexity of the described methods and limited number of examples. The last chapter on quantitative imaging presents concise discussion of the potential advantages and pitfalls of computerized analysis.
Audience: To whom the book is addressed is not quite clear,because the background necessary to read it varies from an undergraduate to a mature researcher.
Features: The book contains moderate amount of black-and-white photographs and schemes. Some of them are repeated in different chapters. The lists of references in some (not all) chapters are definitely outdated. In the chapter on transgenic animals, an important approach of regulated (inducible) mutations is only mentioned in a short note, though it was widely discussed already two years ago.
Assessment: This is a loose collection of chapters, some of which present the material in a concise and informative manner.