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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Ramsis Farid Ghaly, MD, FACS (Ghaly Neurosurgical Associates)
Description: For students, the topic of neuroscience is complicated and not easy to understand. A book such as this makes a difference, summarizing the essentials of neuroscience to make them easier to absorb.
Purpose: This is part of the PreTest Self-Assessment and Review series for students preparing for the USMLE Step 1 and updates the 2010 edition.
Audience: The book targets medical students preparing for USMLE step 1, but it is also helpful for undergraduate students in the health professions.
Features: The 13 sections address various neuroscience topics, including central nervous system anatomy, development, physiology, neurochemistry, and clinical correlations. The first chapter provides a concise review of neuroscience, serving as a memory jogger prior to the pretest. This is followed by 500 clinical vignette style questions and answers along with complete explanations. The first set of questions (39 questions) focuses on anatomy of the brain, followed by 11 questions on development, 25 questions on neurons and muscles, 10 questions on synapse, 38 questions on neurochemistry, 54 questions on spinal cord, 11 questions on autonomic nervous system, 124 questions on brainstem and cranial nerves, 44 questions on the sensory systems, 33 questions on forebrain, 40 questions on the motor systems, and 71 questions on the higher functions. Questions are displayed in different formats and some include illustrations. The 20 page index is extensive and well organized.
Assessment: This book simulates the actual examination and provides adequate preparation. The size makes it easy to carry around. The questions have been selected wisely to test readers' knowledge. The greatest number of questions, rightly so, are on the brainstem and cranial nerves, higher functions, and the spinal cord. I am amazed at how clinically correlative the questions and answers are, making them of great value to students for their future careers.