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From The CriticsReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: A key debilitating aspect of some diseases is the patient's lack of awareness of deficits, which critically impacts rehabilitation efforts. This book explores a variety of illnesses in which individuals present with anosognosia.
Purpose: The primary aim is to provide a scientific review and account of illnesses that involve anosognosia to varying degrees. The impact on rehabilitation efforts and ways to improve treatment outcomes are also covered.
Audience: This book is appropriate for neuropsychologists and rehabilitation psychologists, psychiatrists, physiatrists, and others working in a rehabilitation setting. The editor is a top scientist with extensive clinical research roots in the neuropsychology and rehabilitation realms. The contributing authors are no less accomplished.
Features: The first major section focuses on various theories behind anosognosia, while incorporating current research that supports or refutes the theories. This well-edited text clearly links and progresses through each topic across several chapters without major disruption. Early chapters are focused on stroke and motor disorders (e.g., hemiplegia), and middle chapters are dedicated to various brain disorders, which include common neurodegenerative diseases as well as schizophrenia and traumatic brain injury. These are all detailed and current reviews of the literature. The book moves away from discussion of unawareness of cognitive deficits to the unawareness of various other illness characteristics, such as emotions and soma. The final chapters provide insight into the functional neuroanatomy through fMRI of self-awareness and appraisal. There also is discussion of behavioral measures and rating scales for evaluating anosognosia. Advances in methodologies for studying this phenomenon are part of the concluding message. Readers will find color plates of excellent figures and neuroimaging examples towards the end of the book. The index is helpful and the references are current to 2009.
Assessment: This book is an absorbing and inclusive examination of anosognosia in all its behavioral and neuroanatomical facets. It is a crucial resource for clinicians involved in the assessment and treatment of individuals with anosognosia.