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Introduction to Clinical Neurology.
  1. Department of Neurology, Leicester Royal Infirmary
  2. Leicester, UK

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    Introduction to Clinical Neurology. 2nd Ed. By Douglas J Gelb. (Pp 386; £22.50.) Butterworth Heinemann, 2000. ISBN 0-7506-7202-1. ****

    The stimulus to write this book is the recent change in healthcare policy in the United States whereby there is a move away from the “specialist” to the “generalist”. It is anticipated that the number of residency training posts in neurology may fall to possibly half the present number. This contrasts with the UK where the increasing demand for neurologists and those in other specialties is driving waiting lists higher and higher.

    The stated rationale for this book is that all physicians should be familiar with the general principles of neurological diagnosis and management. Its purpose is to “focus on practical issues of management” and avoid “esoteric diagnostic distinctions with little practical relevance”.

    Part 1 concentrates on neurological skills. The localisation of a lesion applying basic anatomical concepts is followed by a practical description of how to perform a neurological examination and advice on how to establish the nature of the pathology. Sensible case histories are used liberally to illustrate the problems. Part 2 discusses common neurological conditions and part 3 addresses symptomatic presentations.

    This is an extremely well written book which takes a practical approach to a subject which many beginners find daunting. The case histories are particularly helpful in focusing a problem, both for the inexperienced clinician and even for a trained neurologist. It will be of value to trainees for the MRCP examination and beyond, and will also provide useful diagnostic tips for their seniors.

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