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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, DO, MA (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This is an excellent and comprehensive new book covering disorders that fall in the borderland between neurology and psychiatry. Griesinger in 1868 stated "Psychiatry has undergone a transformation in its relationship to the rest of medicine.... This transformation rests principally on the realization that patients with so-called 'mental illnesses' are really individuals with illnesses of the nerves and brain"(1). This book exemplifies this brain-behavior approach in providing exceptional and clinically practical coverage of disorders of higher brain function, neurodevelopment, and cognition/behavior. This edited book, authored by a group of internationally recognized authorities in the field, represents an outstanding contribution to neurology, psychiatry, and neuropsychology.
Purpose: The purpose, according to the editors, is "to present a pragmatic and evidence-based approach to cognitive, behavioral, and adaptive impairments caused by neurologic, traumatic, and medical disorders." Indeed, the editors and chapter authors have succeeded in reaching their goal.
Audience: The intended audience includes neurologists, behavioral neurologists, neuropsychiatrists, and neuropsychologists. I hope general psychiatrists and residents in psychiatry and neurology would read this book.
Features: The book is quite large and is divided into seven parts and 55 chapters. Part 1 is an interesting overview of the field. Part 2 covers assessment issues including clinical, anatomical, and physiological patient evaluations with a very useful chapter on safe and unsafe driving. Part 3 reviews disorders of higher brain functions including attention, memory and learning, aphasia, apraxia, agnosia, acalculia, corpus callosal disorders, and an excellent chapter on emotions. Cognition/behavior and disease is covered in part 4 with chapters on degenerative diseases, infections, basal ganglia diseases, subcortical deficits, head injury, encephalopathies, neuro-oncology, chronic pain, as well as a multitude of other excellently covered topics. Part 5 covers neurodevelopmental disorders with chapters on autistic spectrum disorders and mental retardation, epilepsy, and learning disabilities. Part 6 is a set of useful chapters on rehabilitation. The final part covers forensic issues such as competence, malingering, and use of behavioral evidence in court. Each chapter ends with relevant and timely citations and the index section was helpful.
Assessment: This is a very useful new book on behavioral neurology. If I were to buy a new book in this field (there is now quite a lot to choose from), this is the most practical and comprehensive one. (1) Griesinger, Wilhelm. Vorwort. Arch Psychiatr Nervenkr. 1868; 1:3