by Stuart C. Apfel, 209 pp, with illus, $85, Philadelphia, Pa, Lippincott-Raven Publishers, 1997.
It is difficult to imagine a more well-written, succinct yet thorough, authoritative, and fully referenced treatise on neurotrophic factors. Apfel systematically takes the reader through the history and biology of neurotrophic factors, current clinical experience of their use in the treatment of neurological disorders (including peripheral neuropathies, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson disease, and Alzheimer disease), and future prospects and challenges regarding their use. More factual material about neurotrophic factors was presented than I knew existed. Although a superb reference, many clinicians might find this information to be more than they wanted or needed to know, and the price too high to add this book to their personal library. Concerning the current optimism and enthusiasm regarding the future of neurotrophic factors in the clinical practice of neurology, Apfel offers this important reminder, "An important caveat to keep in mind is that much of the current rationale behind neurotrophic therapy . . . may prove to be simplistic."
Clinical Applications of Neurotrophic Factors. Arch Neurol. 1998;55(4):575. doi: