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February 22, 1985

Infectious Diseases of the Central Nervous System

Author Affiliations

St Paul Medical Center Dallas


edited by Richard A. Thompson and John R. Green (Neurologic Illness: Diagnosis and Treatment, vol 2, Michael I. Weintraub, editor in chief), 256 pp, with illus, $40, New York, SP Medical & Scientific Books, 1984.

JAMA. 1985;253(8):1182. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350320108035

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The reader picking up a book with this title probably expects current information on such topics as bacterial and aseptic meningitis, cryptococcal and tuberculous CNS infections, and brain abscesses. Most likely, he expects a summary of important knowledge on pathogenesis, epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment. I regret to state that the reader will be disappointed.

This volume, a compilation of material presented at a recent symposium, includes discussions on pathophysiology and epidemiology of viral infections, scrapie prions, and immunemediated CNS diseases—hardly what most practitioners seek in a reference book. Topics of more clinical relevance, such as treatment of bacterial infections of the CNS, neuroradiological diagnosis of CNS infections, and herpes encephalitis, are dealt with superficially. Cryptococcal disease is not even discussed.

Inaccuracies ("recommendations for prophylactic therapy [for Haemophilus influenzae contacts] have not yet been established") and innumerable misspellings cast doubt on the preparation of this volume. That the book is not