by Eva L. Feldman, MD, Wolfgang Grisold, MD, James W. Russell, MD, and Udo A. Zifko, MD, 474 pp, with illus, $249, ISBN 3211838198, New York, NY, Springer, 2004.
This is a somewhat unusual book, prepared by 2 authors from the University of Michigan and 2 from Austria. It sets out to provide a guide “to help in the diagnosis of neuromuscular diseases at all levels of the peripheral nervous system . . . suitable for students, residents, physicians, and neurologists.” This seems a difficult aim, given the widely differing knowledge base of the projected readership and, almost inevitably, uncertainty regarding the level of information is evident throughout the book. The chapter content is conventional, with chapters relating to cranial neuropathies, plexopathies, radiculopathies, mononeuropathies in upper and lower limbs, polyneuropathies, disorders of neuromuscular transmission, muscle disease, and finally a chapter on motor neuron disease that includes both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophy, and poliomyelitis. The book commences with an introductory chapter in which the clinical tools used by the physician in diagnosis are described. This is deeply unsatisfactory since it introduces complex concepts without explanation, and no attempt is made to discuss details of the tests mentioned or their precise indications or pitfalls. Electromyographic concepts are given far more detailed explanation than clinical signs, and little attention is paid to the history—surely the most important part of any clinical assessment in neurological practice. Although a number of references are given, they do not relate directly to the text. The impression is of a jumble of disparate information.
Swash M. Atlas of the Neuromuscular Diseases: A Practical Guideline. Arch Neurol. 2006;63(1):152-153. doi:10.1001/archneur.63.1.152-b