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April 10, 1972


JAMA. 1972;220(2):280. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200020088035

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This is the ninth volume of the Contemporary Neurology Series, whose black-bound spines seem to be omnipresent on the shelves of many neurologists and neurology residents.

Wells' introductory chapter, written with a perspective that is admirably both neurologic and psychiatric, says well in brief what is discussed at length in subsequent chapters on the clinical aspects of dementia. Much of this standard descriptive material seems aimed at the first-year neurology resident, but is well written by skilled students of the subject. Chapters 5 through 8 are up-to-date, if brief, reviews of the electroencephalography, radiology, pathology (including ultrastructural alterations), and biochemistry of dementia. In this latter topic, unfortunately, as the authors of the chapter note, far too little is yet known. The volume ends with a lucid chapter by Haase on the differential diagnosis of the dementing disorders, which emphasizes the importance of searching for a treatable metabolic or structural cause