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From The CriticsReviewer: Jennifer L Hopp, MD (University of Maryland School of Medicine)
Description: This is a comprehensive book on clinical epilepsy, including diagnosis by syndrome according to ILAE criteria as well as a review of management issues. The book also uses current practice parameter guidelines for outlining treatment algorithms.
Purpose: The author provides an update to a previous book (though not a prior edition), of A Clinical Guide to Epileptic Syndromes and Their Treatment (Bladon Medical Publishing, 2002. The author seeks to include a review of the literature by way of inclusion of practice parameter guidelines in the treatment of seizures. The book, organized by seizure type and syndrome according to the guidelines of the International League against Epilepsy, includes new additions to the diagnosis and treatment of the epilepsies. The objectives are worthy with regard to the need for updated references, especially in the realm of treatment paradigms.
Audience: The author states that the book is geared toward any practitioner who takes care of patients with epilepsy, including neurologists and clinical neurophysiologists as well as epileptologists. Although this book could certainly serve as a reference for any of these groups, the detail on the topics and the often controversial issues of the classification of syndromes and epilepsy types may be more appropriate for those who specialize in the field. Both in terms of the level of background needed for general reading or for use as a reference, the book is better suited to the adult or pediatric epileptologist. The author is a well known epileptologist and has expertise in the epilepsy syndromes particularly affecting children.
Features: The book covers a general classification of seizure types and epilepsy syndromes using the ILAE criteria and EEG. A broad review of both adult and pediatric syndromes is provided as well as an organized review of treatment strategies using the latest literature and references included in recent practice parameters. This approach is unique, and the use of EEG and syndromic classification are strengths of the book, as is the accompanying CD-ROM which provides video documentation of seizure types. The EEG recordings in the text are clear and appropriate. Unfortunately, the organization of the text with the use of many different fonts, font sizes, text color, and size in all of the headings and subheadings can be somewhat confusing and hard to follow.
Assessment: This book provides a unique approach to the review of the epilepsies, using the current classifications and practice parameters. The accompanying CD-ROM is a valuable adjunct to the book, although it could be more comprehensive in its scope and coverage. The structure of the chapters is unfortunately somewhat confusing, and this takes away from the intended organization of the review. However, the book is comprehensive and the CD-ROM provides an additional resource that is often not included with books of this type.