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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Sean D. Ruland, DO (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This text deals with the prognosis of neurologic illness.
Purpose: The purpose is to rejuvenate what the editor feels to be the lost physician art of prognostication. It is, in his opinion, a role of physicians that has been pushed to the side in favor of advances in diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Indeed, this is a worthy objective that he makes a valid attempt at meeting.
Audience: The target audience, as stated in the preface, is neurologists and general internists. It is my opinion that this is written at a level that could benefit only those physicians (at any level) skilled at making an accurate assessment and interpretation of the clinical prognostic indicators for the various disease entities.
Features: Many reputable and credible individuals have contributed chapters. The book covers a wide range of neurologic diseases, not from a diagnostic or therapeutic standpoint, but from the aspect of how the variable features of each disease help to predict what to expect in terms of outcomes. This encompasses both natural history of the disease untreated, as well as responses to therapeutic intervention. A short description of the disease is supplied, the natural history, factors affecting prognosis, how to evaluate for prognosis, therapies and their effects on prognosis, and short and long-term prognosis. There are few photographs or tables, which is to be expected in a book of this design.
Assessment: I find this book to be a refreshing change from standard textbooks. It is the first that I have run across that focuses solely on prognostication and therefore has no gold standard for comparison. I have enjoyed reading it, have found very useful information in it, and have referred to it already on several instances regarding personal cases.