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Book Reviews
October 2000

Abnormal Cortical Development and Epilepsy: From Basic to Clinical Science, Vol 7

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edited by R. Spreafico, F. Andermann, and G. Avanzini, 324 pp, with illus, £39, ISBN 0-86196-579-5, Eastleigh, England, John Libbey & Co Ltd, 1999.

Arch Neurol. 2000;57(10):1529-1530. doi:

Abnormal Cortical Development and Epilepsy: From Basic to Clinical Science is the seventh volume in the "Mariani Foundation Pediatric Neurology Series." The volume was the result of a meeting (within the framework of the Mariani Foundation Colloquia in Childhood Epilepsy) held in Venice, Italy, October 2 to 4, 1997, and was designed to address the topic of epileptogenic cortical developmental abnormalities in a multidisciplinary fashion. The meeting gathered a cast of international authoritative basic and clinical neuroscientists. The book is composed of 24 chapters that are divided into 6 sections. The first section, consisting of only 1 chapter by Federick Andermann, provides a historical perspective on cortical dysplasia and epilepsy and emphasizes the central theme that the electrographic abnormality originates in the dysplastic tissue itself. Furthermore, for a good surgical result, cortical resections must include not only the visible lesion but also the entire epileptogenic zone. The second section deals with the basic science of corticogenesis, including cell proliferation, migration, and death, and neuronal connectivity and electrophysiological properties. The third section is on animal models for cerebral dysplasia studies, including a chapter on a genetic rat model. The fourth section is more clinically relevant and deals with the neuroradiologic, neurophysiologic, and clinical aspects of various human migrational disorders. The radiographic illustrations are superb. The last 2 chapters of this fourth section discuss surgical pathological features of cortical dysplasia, tuberous sclerosis, and dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumors and immunocytochemical studies in which the colored photomicrographs are exceptional. The fifth section deals with the genetics of neuronal migration disorders and contains only 2 chapters. One chapter discusses the role of the homeobox genes in schizencephaly and the other chapter reviews the genetics of the lissencephalies and bilateral periventricular nodular heterotopias. Both chapters are excellent. The final section deals with the surgical treatment of cortical dysplasias. One chapter reviews the experience of the Montreal Neurological Institute, including illustrative cases with magnetic resonance images, diagrams, and preresection and postresection photographs. The last chapter addresses the surgical issue that the dysplastic lesion as depicted by structural studies may not be coexistent with the epileptogenic zone.

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