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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Kristin M Scott, MD (Mayo Clinic Florida)
Description: The title of this book might give the impression that it contains only visual representations and artwork. In fact, it contains illustrations, charts, tables, graphs, and extensive text descriptions of the anatomy, physiology, and clinical aspects of the peripheral nervous system and its disorders. This update is designed to replace the original edition published in 1986.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a comprehensive, system-based discussion of the anatomy, physiology, pathology, and clinical presentation of many important peripheral nervous system disorders. There have been many diagnostic and therapeutic advances in the field of clinical neurology since the first edition's publication almost 30 years ago, and this book is designed to capture and illustrate those advances.
Audience: Although not explicitly stated, the intended audience is broad. The book serves both students and residents who are learning peripheral neurology for the first time as well as practitioners who desire a quick reference. The authors and illustrators are renowned authorities in the field of clinical neurology.
Features: The book uses a system-based approach to the spinal cord, nerves, neuromuscular junction, and muscles. The color art that supplements the text depicts the beauty and intricacy of the peripheral nervous system in a way that is both clear and concise. The illustrations of the fiber tracts in the brainstem and spinal cord are particularly well done. The illustrators have managed to simplify and isolate even the most complicated fiber tract systems and show their topographic arrangements and relationships to other tracts. The section on pain is also very well done. The authors clearly explain key diagnostic and therapeutic concepts while at the same time acknowledging the enigmatic nature of many pain disorders. Although this book has very few shortcomings, the text in a few of the chapters is somewhat dry and tedious. However, this may be a function of the material itself rather than the way it is written.
Assessment: The quality of this edition is superb. The authors have stayed true to the classic Netter style and the illustrations demonstrate key concepts with a remarkably elegant simplicity. The book is at the same time thorough, concise, and comprehensive. Given the significant technological, diagnostic, and therapeutic advances over the last 30 years, this update is certainly justified. I'm convinced that it will prove to be a valuable resource for both trainees and practitioners.