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February 4, 1983

The Psychiatrist's Guide to Diseases of the Nervous System

Author Affiliations

Massachusetts General Hospital Boston

JAMA. 1983;249(5):653-654. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330290071037

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This is a curiously titled book about a complex topic. It is not a review book of basic neurology for board examinations. Instead, it focuses on symptoms that straddle psychiatry and neurology. There are many instances where a patient with symptoms reflecting a neurological illness may see a psychiatrist, or vice versa. Similarly, there are commonly encountered emotional complications to neurological illness and treatment and neurological complications related to psychopharmacological treatment.

Unfortunately, this volume is unevenly written. Although some chapters have a remarkable synthetic clarity, many suffer from the author's tendency merely to catalog a host of illnesses without attempting to synthesize an overview.

The author begins the book with a long chapter on the neurological examination and various diagnostic tests used in neurology. He attempts to do too much in this one chapter, and the result is a highly telegraphic, hard-to-follow introduction. It would have been better for him