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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Sean D. Ruland, DO (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This book deals with the topics of neuroprotection and the promotion of neuro-recovery following ischemic insult to the brain.
Purpose: The underlying premise here, from the author's point of view, is to "provide a bridge between the basic laboratory and the clinic" — a worthwhile endeavor from my perspective. However intrigued and refreshed I was reading this book, I feel it fell somewhat short of the objectives, not because of the author's approach or presentation, but simply because of technical limitations of what is known and has been researched to this point in history. Specifically, the bulk of the information is still at a research level with implications for further studies, without much in the way of clinically useful applications at this time.
Audience: According to the author, the book is written for both bench scientists and clinicians who are involved in the neurosciences. The book is properly targeted at these audiences, although it must be understood that clinicians reading this book for information that would augment their practices now may be disappointed.
Features: When I first received this book for review, I made an erroneous assumption from the title that this was a compilation of neuro-rehabilitative-pharmacological "pearls." I quickly learned that such was not the case. Rather, it is a review of all, or most, of the research done to (publication) date of theories of neuroprotection following insult; neuromodulation and its augmentation; stimulation of nerve growth and differentiation of progenitor cells; theories of diaschisis and depression after stroke; as well as what has helped and what has hurt from a pharmacological perspective. The vast majority of this research has been done in animal models and not in humans, thus the limitations to clinical applications. The illustrations are rather bland; they could have been improved upon using diagrams and flow charts to support the text. At times, the recapitulation of all the lists of animal trials on a particular concept gets lengthy. There isn't really any unique mode of presentation of this material, just interesting and intriguing concepts.
Assessment: After I had realized the nature of the content of this book, I soon found myself unable to put it down. (I finished it leisurely in under three days.) Much of the information that is being referred to in "bits and pieces" during seminars, guest lectures, and grand rounds is here in more elaborate and complete form. This is not a book to sit on a shelf for reference either, as technology quickly will overtake these concepts. I think, though, that anyone interested in what's been done in the past, what's going on currently, and where we're headed in this exciting field of neurobiochemical research will enjoy reading this book. To date, I am not aware of another text that compares to this one.