July 15, 1988

Forensic Neuropathology

Author Affiliations

Rochester, NY

Rochester, NY


by Jan E. Leestma, 450 pp, with illus, $169, New York, Raven Press, 1988.

JAMA. 1988;260(3):410. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410030130046

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Only a few times does a reviewer of books come across one that is almost thoroughly satisfying in subject matter and mode of presentation and at the same time a pleasure to read. Such a book is this one. From "The Neuropathologist's Role in Forensic Pathology" to the final chapter on "Complex Neural Dysfunction," covering such matters as epilepsy and dementia, the author and four associates traverse almost the entire field of neuropathology, including areas that at first blush seem far removed from forensic medicine. But their relevance is never left unexplored.

The section of more than 20 pages on brain tumors, for instance, is begun by a six-page essay on "Brain Tumors and the Forensic Pathologist." The six-page gem on Alzheimer's disease is preceded by a discussion of the concerns of forensic pathologists in degenerative diseases.

The usual matters of trauma and its differentiation from spontaneous disturbances of nervous