Reviewed by David Brock
AP Biology Teacher
This book provides accessible information for the educated layperson on the most common neurological ailments and their most current therapies. Each chapter of the book presents information on a major category of affliction (e.g. Alzheimer’s Disease), and the topics range from those associated exclusively with the central nervous system (such as epilepsy) to those found only in the peripheries (such as carpal tunnel syndrome). The author discusses all of the critical neuropathies that most people are likely to encounter, and, within each chapter, he presents major and minor symptoms, how a neurologist would diagnose the disease, and what kinds of medications and therapies are used to treat it. Usually, he also shares some of the history behind the discovery of a given disorder to provide perspective on how its treatment has evolved over time.
I would recommend this book for anyone interested in learning more about neurological disorders. While some of the individual chapters are a bit dry to read (usually because they cover subjects such as epilepsy, about which medical science still knows very little), there is an encyclopedia of information here from one of the leading experts in the world. The chapter approach allows a reader to pick and choose which topics he or she wants to know more about, and the book nicely fulfills the author’s intent "to make neurology understandable...for readers without medical training and people who are worried about neurological diseases" (p. 2). It is definitely written at the post-college level, and this book is not for your typical high school student (or even high school graduate). But if you are looking for a handy reference to answer that tricky question from one of your students, this book is for you.
Review posted on 12/30/2009