June 1960

Heavy Metals and the Brain.

Author Affiliations

By John N. Cumings. Price, $7.00. Pp. 161. Charles C Thomas, Publisher, Springfield, Ill., 1959.

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;2(6):716. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.03590120124024

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Professor Cumings’ book fulfills the need for a concise monograph on the effects of copper, lead, and mercury on the brain. The monograph is well edited, well printed, and nicely illustrated, with several photomicrographs. It deals primarily with the phenomenology of excessive concentrations of these metals on the central nervous system. Clinical, pathological, and experimental phenomena which accompany these conditions are critically presented and discussed. The bibliography on which the author draws is impressive, and its presentation is expert.

The prose of this book is eminently readable, in the best British tradition. The integration of information from the clinic, the autopsy room, and the various laboratories is smoothly accomplished so that the flow of the arguments is polished.

It is considered a reviewer’s obligation to find flaws. Therefore, one is forced to point out that the inclusion of manganese in the list of heavy metals affecting the brain would

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