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Book Forum: Neurology and Neuropsychiatry   |    
Neurology for the Non-Neurologist, 5th ed.
FRANCINE M. BENES, M.D., Ph.D.
Am J Psychiatry 2005;162:1394-a-1395. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.162.7.1394-a
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Belmont, Mass.

By William Weiner and Christopher Goetz. Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2004, 528 pp., $59.95 (paper).

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This multiauthored book provides a practical overview of clinical neurology for physicians who work in other areas of medicine. It begins with a concise and well-focused discussion of the basic neurological examination, beginning with the cranial nerves and peripheral nervous system and moving systematically through basic diagnostic tests and the evaluation of coma. Each chapter is individually authored and covers a broad variety of neurological problems, including cerebrovascular disease, headache, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, alcoholism, peripheral neuropathy, the dementias, traumatic brain injury, neuromuscular disorders, and neurological manifestations of cancer. There is also an entire chapter devoted to neurological complications of pregnancy. These topics are all dealt with in a straightforward way that is suitable for the average psychiatrist. NeuroAIDS and other conditions with relevance to psychiatry, such as low back pain and insomnia, are also dealt with in a clear and practical way.

Most chapters provide a description of the correct ways to perform a neurological examination and enumerate the forms of treatment that are available for different neurological disorders. In the chapter on "eye signs," detailed diagrams showing visual pathways are provided and visual field defects are depicted in simple diagrams. The final chapter includes a discussion of medical-legal issues involved in the care of patients with neurological disorders as well as a discussion of the problems associated with obtaining informed consent from patients who are not legally competent. This chapter also contains a fairly extensive discussion of brain death, including the use of electroencephalography and cerebral blood flow as part of the evaluation. For the psychiatrist who is seeking to learn more about behavioral neurology, there is a description of the Papez circuit and a fairly comprehensive discussion of temporal lobe epilepsy. Beyond this, however, there is very little information regarding psychiatric manifestations of neurological disorders. For those who treat the geriatric population, where behavioral manifestations of delirium and dementia are common, this book is probably not an appropriate resource. Overall, however, Neurology for the Non-Neurologist provides a well-illustrated and clearly written overview of basic clinical neurology.

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