H Manji, S. Connolly N. Kitchen C. Lambert and A. Mehta
Second edition Published 2014
Price £34.99 http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199601172.do
The book starts off from the inside front cover with an old fashioned diagram of human cutaneous nerve distribution-remember them from anatomy days? However after that, the book is anything but old fashioned, it is a modern and very up to date review of the whole topic. Like its other siblings in the Oxford handbook series, this is a very practical, informative useful book designed for front line use. The typical users are junior hospital doctors, GPs and other people with an interest in neurology.
Despite the topic being vast, and with the presence of some very large textbooks in this subject, this is a modestly sized book with just over 600 pages. This does not mean it is inadequate, in fact far from it – this book is a superb general review of the whole speciality. As a practicing GP, I found this book most useful as a reference source, making the topic logical and easy to understand. Considering its modest size, it provided almost everything I asked of it. Even better, just dipping into topics was quick and easy to read.
Being of modest size of course has its advantages-it is relatively portable or it can occupy a small amount of space on a desk top, sitting unobtrusively. Yet it can supply that vital piece of information quickly. From a GPs perspective, it is possible to read most of this book say over a few weeks and become bang up to date in most of the common neurology conditions and situations. For many folk, neurology can be a bit of a minefield and this book goes a long way to demystifying the topic. As is expected with this book, bearing in mind the pedigree it comes from –the book is highly readable. Most of the text is short sections or sentences and it does not take long to read round a topic or situation. At the end, appendix 3 is a super collection of neurological eponyms whilst appendix 4 contains a helpful list of neurological websites.
I would imagine a junior doctor working in a neurology unit would definitely need this book. For a GP, there are sections which are well worth a read-take for example acute headache and acute vertigo both of which are very useful. These are just a couple of examples from what is a very helpful and readable book.
Dr Harry Brown