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From The CriticsReviewer: Amir Akhter, M.D.(University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This book covers the neuropsychiatric interface between epilepsy and associated psychiatric disorders. It is composed of contributions from international authors from Europe, the United States, and Japan.
Purpose: The purpose is to educate physicians treating epilepsy patients not only from a psychobiological perspective of various behavioral disorders seen in this group, but also different psychotherapeutic modalities, such as psychotherapy. The book meets its objectives of exploring the interface between psychopathology and epilepsy. The authors use recent studies to bring home their point, and allow the book to be very useful in understanding and properly treating these patients.
Audience: The book is written for medical students, residents, and all professionals treating epilepsy patients. I think it would be beneficial for medical professionals such as neurologists, psychiatrists, and neuropsychologists, but it is too technical for non-medically trained professionals.
Features: The book is divided into six parts ranging from the neurobiology of various behaviors to their clinical aspects associated with epileptic patients, e.g., cognitive, DSM-IV psychopathology, psychopharmacology, etc. The book is divided well based upon various topics. The table of contents and the index are well laid out and easy to use. The book goes beyond psychopharmacology to address issues related to epilepsy surgery, vagal nerve stimulators, psychosocial issues, and psychotherapeutic methods to treat psychiatric disorders. In addition, the book attempts to tackle the very difficult issue of pseudo-seizures and their implications to clinicians and patients. Finally, the use of psychotropic drugs in epileptic patients is addressed, which is important to clinicians. However, the definitions at times are not well delineated, e.g., differentiation between interictal psychosis, postictal confusion, chronic psychosis, and their clinical assessment and implications. There is not enough information on EEG, MRI or CSF correlation seen in epileptic patients with behavioral disorders, other than the panic disorder chapter. Also, The MRI studies reported were too technically oriented for the audience. In addition, some of the chapters appeared to read like a journal article where too much time was spent on methods, rather than just reporting the information. There is no chapter on quantitative EEG and its relation to behavioral disorders. Finally, the book is too complex for the non-medically oriented professional.
Assessment: The editors did an excellent job in putting together such a broad and complex topic for clinicians treating epilepsy patients. After reading the book one has a good understanding of the various neurobehavioral issues, complications, and the application in everyday practice. This book is a must for all neurologists, psychiatrists, and neuropsychiatrists involved in treating epileptic patients and their behavioral disorders. In comparison to Psychiatric Issues in Epilepsy: A Practical Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment by Ettinger and Kanner (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2001), this book is not as extensive, but it is complementary. This book expands more on issues such as cognition (comorbidities and risks in epilepsy), and psychotherapy (an additional tool in the armamentarium in treating epileptic patients with psychiatric comorbidities).