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January 2, 1981

Essentials of Neurosurgery

Author Affiliations

University of California San Francisco


by Robert R. Smith, 321 pp, 223 illus, $27.50, Philadelphia, JB Lippincott Co, 1980.

JAMA. 1981;245(1):78. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310260056038

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This text is specifically oriented toward a readership of students, house officers, and primary care physicians. One might raise the question, as has been done, whether a neurosurgical text is relevant for this segment of the profession. The author is clearly aware of this question, but nevertheless the book suffers from the inclusion of many primarily nonneurosurgical conditions. Regarding those subjects, described as "common neurologic syndromes," ischemic cerebrovascular disease, etc, the reader would probably be better served by recourse to standard neurological texts for a more thorough examination in greater depth.

The same criticism can be leveled at the chapter on epilepsy in which its neurological aspects are rather superficially treated. In a neurosurgical text, the emphasis should rest more on the areas in which neurosurgical treatment is indicated and appropriate. Properly, little emphasis is placed on neurosurgical techniques.

The chapters are arranged in an orthodox fashion, beginning with neurological