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October 11, 1985

McAlpine's Multiple Sclerosis

Author Affiliations

Harvard Medical School Beth Israel Hospital Boston


by W. B. Matthews et al, ed 4; 358 pp, with illus, $59, White Plains, NY, Churchill Livingstone Inc, 1985.

JAMA. 1985;254(14):1997-1998. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360140159046

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The first edition of what was immediately hailed as the definitive book on multiple sclerosis appeared 30 years ago. Douglas McAlpine, Charles Lumsden, and Alexander Compston were the original authors. In a subsequent edition, entitled Multiple Sclerosis: A Reappraisal, E. D. Acheson replaced Compston.

The present volume, appropriately perpetuating and honoring McAlpine's name, is not only a worthy successor, but is in fact even better than its already excellent predecessors. Once again this book should be considered the overall authority on most, if not all, aspects of multiple sclerosis. Only the sections on treatment and on neuroimaging require updating.

An immense amount of data has been collected and critically appraised; applicability to the dayto-day management of patients has been evaluated with proverbial British reticence and common sense. In fact, it is these qualities that make the book so attractive. Acheson's discussion of the possible significance of the epidemiologic data should