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Logo of jnnpsycJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and PsychiatryVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2007 October; 78(10): 1164.
PMCID: PMC2117533

The human brain and its disorders

Reviewed by Hidehiro Mizusawa

Edited by D Richards, T Clark, C Clarke. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007, pp 379. ISBN 978 0 19 929984 3

This is an introductory textbook of neurological and psychiatric disorders with essential information about the structure and function of the normal brain. It has 379 pages divided into 16 chapters, 12 of which deal with clinical categories, including cerebrovascular diseases, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, other neurodegenerative conditions, brain infections, multiple sclerosis, headache and chronic pain, neurosurgery, anxiety and related disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia and related psychoses, psychoactive substance and addiction.

The first four chapters are devoted to basic aspects of neuroscience: structure, function, genomics of brain diseases and basic psychiatric concepts. Although each chapter is very concise, it contains fairly new topics, for example, vaccination therapy for Alzheimer's disease. There are many contrivances such as emboldened, coloured key words with definitions provided in the glossary. Each chapter starts with an introduction, highlighted by key points, self‐check questions, case studies, extension boxes and followed by summary and further reading. The chapters are extensively cross referenced. Descriptions are concise, and figures and schema are suitably placed, which help readers to understand the book. In addition, there is a very kind explanation on how to use the book in the preface.

One of its features is the heads of the sections in the chapters written in interrogative sentences, which makes the book very familiar to readers, and provides the feeling that the reader has got the answers after having read that section or chapter. The only shortcoming is that the plate section is inserted in the middle of the chapter on multiple sclerosis. It should be at the end of the book.

Finally, this is a very user friendly introductory textbook of neuroscience. I recommend this book, particularly to non‐MD junior neuroscientists, because most chapters are devoted to neurological and psychiatric disorders. The book may also be very useful to first or second year medical students who are interested in neuroscience.

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