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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jay P. Goldsmith, MD (Tulane University School of Medicine)
Description: Coauthored by a neuropathologist and a pediatric neuroradiologist, this book reviews the development of the human brain and potential adverse events of the second half of gestation with a focus on the most common events which result in childhood neurologic deficits such as cerebral palsy.
Purpose: The purpose is to review brain development, both normal and abnormal, by reviewing embryology, anatomic, and radiologic comparisons, in order to help clarify the etiology of neonatal and childhood neurologic abnormalities. These are worthy objectives, but the authors are limited by the lack of recent autopsy data and the lack of pathologic and imaging clinical correlation studies. The book meets its objectives by relying rather heavily on older studies such as the National Collaborative Perinatal Project database and some of the newer work with magnetic resonance imaging.
Audience: The book is aimed at pediatric neurologists, neonatologists, brain researchers, and advanced fellows in these fields. The subject is, for the most part, too advanced for most students and residents. Both authors are internationally known experts in their respective fields.
Features: The first part of the book covers normal brain development, highlighting certain areas of interest to neurologists such as germinal tissue and growth of white matter. Probably the best chapter is a review of developing brain imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy, which is a very readable and understandable summary of this rapidly developing field. The second part reviews common forms of abnormal brain development such as white matter abnormalities and ventriculomegaly. A highlight of this part is the discussion of brain reactions to chronic childhood diseases.
Assessment: This is a very unique book, one of many in the Clinics in Developmental Medicine series. Physicians and researchers who are looking for etiologies of childhood neurologic disorders with find it thought-provoking.