Edited by Philip Gorelick, Fernando Testai, Graeme Hankey and Joanna Wardlaw
Published by CRC Press
Published December 2020
Price e book £112.50
I had the pleasure of reviewing the eBook on its own without resorting to any paper edition which in this pandemic world is becoming a more mainstream activity. Of course, the advantages of a digital book are obvious, it is likely to be more environmentally friendly, more available through a digital device via an app which can be found on a smartphone or tablet and can be more searchable. Of course, there is the value of the handling and feeling of a paper book and this now boils down to personal choice. However, a critical advantage of an eBook is portability on either a desktop computer or mobile device. Having this kind of information on the front line can be crucial.
I had not heard of this book before now but was immediately impressed by the global spread of the editors. Two of the editors are from the United States whilst one is from Australia and the other one based here in the United Kingdom. This provides a good spread of views and so attractive to a global audience.
Overall, the book is well written and that is a tribute to its many contributors-also listed at the front. The text is clear and concise and is aimed at a wide audience from medical students to primary care practitioners, specialist neurology nurses and established specialists wanting a refresh. The text is clearly laid out and coverage is broken up into tradition medical headings. One advantage of the eBook is that headings and titles are hypertext and so simple click with a mouse on a PC or touch on a smart device takes you to that section. I also like the textboxes that contain tips which are good, concise but important pieces of clinical information which is handy and informative to a front-line clinician.
The quality of the text is high and a good example is the excellent chapter on headache-chapter 6. The hypertext introduction of this chapter is a great summary of what is in the this well written chapter and these subheadings allows a reader to go straight to the core of their question or learning needs. There are good illustrations here and one example of a tip stated here is that Migraine is the commonest primary headache presenting to a healthcare professional. It is this type of practicality that makes this book attractive to a frontline healthcare professional.
The text in the headache section is well laid out with sort sentences and making good use of bullet points which makes it easier for the user to absorb the information. This means more factual and straight to the point information but in other chapters such as Epilepsy in chapter 5, the paragraphs are longer but still easy to digest and well broken up into manageable chunks. All the usual suspects are here but there is an interesting chapter (19) on Neurotoxicology and the index has the topics hyperlinked so a click or a tap takes you to the relevant section which is neat and helpful.
This eBook is clearly customised for the digital environment and is an excellent and modern review of neurology. It does not come cheap to buy (though there are time limited rental options which are cheaper-from the publisher’s website and there is a Kindle version as well) but it is certainly high quality, practical and aimed at general use and I am sure there will be some potential users out there who would appreciate access to a copy of this really good eBook.
Dr Harry Brown
5th March 2021