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2nd ed. Douglas J Gelb. (Pp 386; £22.50.) Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2000. ISBN 07506-7202-1.
General practitioners who have long lost the art of performing and applying the findings of a neurological examination will find this concise American text a useful addition to the practice library, as an easily understood reference source.
The book is primarily written for medical students, and achieves this aim as it is an excellent introductory text. It contains numerous practical tips for carrying out a thorough neurological examination in one excellent chapter. Fortunately, the text also contains many shortened or modified versions of aspects of the full examination, which will allow the physician or student to identify significant abnormalities, and then apply the findings appropriately. Challenges are set throughout the book, such as “Where's the lesion?”, and discussion of case histories provides practical and applicable examples of application of the examination and accurate diagnosis. The format of these case histories is rather confusing initially, but a little persistence enables the reader to learn a great deal from their application.
Common neurological disorders are covered broadly, but not in much depth, as the title of the book suggests. There is good coverage of new drugs and therapies for multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease for those doctors who may have fallen behind the rapid advancement of neurological treatments.