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March 27, 1972

Physiological Basis of Rehabilitation Medicine

JAMA. 1972;219(13):1770. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190390054036

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This volume, a compendium of 19 contributions, emphasizes physiology as a base for rehabilitation medicine, since there is "excessive empiricism operating in rehabilitation medicine." The editors apologize, entirely appropriately, for the range of topics they selected. Indeed, this selection is, by their own admission, based on the editors' bias. Their hope that the book will have more than "fleeting validity" by avoiding the most recent topics for which they anticipate considerable change, may be self-defeating.

Of the six sections, the first, "Basic Structure and Function," takes up the nervous system and the chemistry of muscle contraction. The second, "Electrophysiology," comprises two chapters, one, excellent, on nerve conduction and synaptic transmission, and the other, only fair, on the motor unit and muscle action potentials. Section three is the longest, with seven chapters on the subject of energy expenditure and transfer. Section four, "Applied Physiology," includes chapters on urogenital physiology, autonomic function