Multimedia Review

Am Fam Physician. 2001 Sep 1;64(5):885.

Book Reviews

Epilepsy

By Martin Brodie and Steven Schachter. Pp. 71. Price, $19.95. Health Press, 870 Market St. Ste. 720, San Francisco, CA 94102. 2000. Phone: 800–538–1287. ISBN: 1–899–54127–6.

Authors Brodie and Schachter have created an outstanding guidebook that discusses epilepsy in a concise, well-written and informative format. This book is must reading for all family physicians.

As pointed out in the introduction, epilepsy is the world's most common serious neurologic disorder. This guidebook is oriented to the family physician and provides an excellent review of the subject and a teaching tool to update the reader on current treatment of patients with epilepsy. The book is well organized and covers major topics including epidemiology, diagnosis, epilepsy syndromes, diagnostic techniques, pharmacologic treatment, pregnancy, anticonvulsant withdrawal, status epilepticus, vagal nerve stimulation, epilepsy surgery, and future trends in treatment and care.

The authors are internationally recognized neurologists and epileptologists. In providing this comprehensive approach to epilepsy, they draw on their considerable experience from practices in the United States and the United Kingdom. The benefit of their combined clinical experience is reflected in the careful presentation of the material.

This book reviews the treatment, epidemiology and unique clinical aspects of epilepsy. It does an excellent job of providing a concise teaching tool on the topic. It provides a painless, enjoyable and comprehensive review for the primary physician.

The book is well organized, and each topic has color-coded margins for easy reference. The writing is clear, and the authors have provided an excellent glossary of terms and abbreviations to assist with readability. There are several well-selected illustrations and graphic materials. For example, there is a graphic representation of a patient with a typical morbilliform rash related to anticonvulsant allergic reaction. The magnetic resonance images and electroencephalographic patterns of classic epilepsy syndromes are interesting and informative.

This is an important book because of its accuracy, clarity and ease of use. The authors have taken an enormous topic and crystalized it into a highly original and easy-to-use format for the practicing physician. The special section on epilepsy and pregnancy and the use of drugs in the treatment of the pregnant patient is invaluable. The book also deals with the difficult topic of anticonvulsant withdrawal and how to take patients who are now seizure-free off medications.

Status epilepticus, a major medical and neurologic emergency, is concisely described, and appropriate treatment guidelines are presented to acquaint the family physician with ways to address this emergency. The book also contains a sophisticated yet simplified review of the pharmacologic treatment of epilepsy. In addition, some of the more recent surgical approaches, including vagal nerve stimulation and epilepsy surgery, are reviewed.

This book is a gem for family physicians because of its ease of use and the sophisticated, concise treatment of this important clinical problem.

Also Received

All About Muscle: A User's Guide

By Irwin M. Siegel, M.D. Pp. 206. Price, $19.95. Demos Medical Publishing, 386 Park Avenue So., Ste. 201, New York, NY, 10016, 2000. Phone: 800–532–8663. ISBN: 1–888799.42–0.

Common Medical Diagnoses: An Algorithmic Approach, 3d ed

By Patrice M. Healey, M.D., and Edwin J. Jacobson, M.D. Pp. 256. Price, $39.95. W.B. Saunders, The Curtis Center, Independence Sq. West, Philadelphia, PA 19106–3399, 2000. Phone: 215–238–7800. ISBN: 0–7216–7732–0.

Handbook of Coronary Care, 6th ed

By Joseph S. Alpert, M.D. and Gary S. Francis, M.D. Pp. 240. Price, $35.95. Lippincott, Williams & Williams, 530 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19106–3621, 2000. Phone: 215–521–8300. Tear sheets to: Julie Shaffer, Book Review Coordinator. ISBN: 0–7817–1958–5.

Medical Entomology for Students, 2nd ed

By Mike W. Service. Pp. 283. Price, $37.95. Cambridge University Press, 40 West 20th St., New York, NY 10011–4211, 2000. Phone: 212–924–3900. ISBN: 0–521–66659–7.

Physician's Compensation

By Lucy R. Carter, C.P.A. and Sara S. Lankford, C.P.A. Pp. 211. Price, $75.00. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158, 2000. Phone: 212–850–6336. ISBN: 0–471–32361–6.

Telemedicine & Telehealth—Principles, Policies, Performance and Pitfalls

By Adam William Darkins, M.D. and Margaret Ann Cary, M.D. Pp. 316. Price, $43.95. Springer Publishing Co., 536 Broadway, New York, NY 10012–3955, 2000. Phone: 877–687–7476. ISBN: 0–8261–1302–8.


Copyright © 2001 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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