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Gregory N, Fuller J, Goodman C. 2001, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, $69.95. ISBN 0 7817 2778 2
This book achieves the authors' stated objective of being a succinct overview of contemporary neuropathology. In 343 pages and 17 chapters they have produced a practical book which is a mine of accessible information. With three short chapters on cell control, neurochemistry, and neurogenetics, and two longer chapters describing the cells of the nervous system and neuroanatomy, they introduce the basic scientific concepts of the subject. The next 10 chapters focus on diseases of the central nervous system but also include a chapter on neuromuscular disorders. A section on disorders of peripheral myelin is found in the chapter on demyelinating diseases. The book ends with a chapter on the “Ten most common mistakes in surgical neuropathology” and a “Lexicon of neuropathology” where definitions, comments on the uses of stains, and examples of redundant terminology are found. Each chapter is well organised and most start by indicating the perspective of the topic and a list of objectives. As “confessed and unrepentant lumpers” the authors provide many bold diagrams and text boxes giving useful frameworks for addressing the often incompletely understood problems of pathogenesis. The numerous photographs are all monochrome, and some, lacking in detail and contrast, are not helpful. However, this is a relatively minor problem. This book does exactly what it sets out to do and, with only six references, is that refreshing rarity, the authors' view of the subject. It can be confidently recommended to all interested in neuropathology, especially trainees, and to those in general pathology.