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April 22, 1983

Post-traumatic Neurosis: From Railway Spine to the Whiplash

Author Affiliations

Urbana, Ill

JAMA. 1983;249(16):2240. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330400084040

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This is a terrific little book. It is a scholarly literature review spanning over 200 years (intensively, almost 150 years), which is enjoyable reading because of the author's excellent use of the English language and historical, exciting evolutionary perspectives. There are a few photographs, illustrations, tables, and graphs, which are expertly used to augment the text.

After a stimulating introduction and the recounting of a 1776 case history, the author begins a systematic description of the literature regarding spinal and head injuries of the CNS. The author's sufficiently objective view presents the reader with the historical progression of the medicolegal debate: is post-traumatic neurosis a meaningful reality or a disguise for the malingerer? In sequence, the contributors and their work appear, names ranging from the famous to the modest. Some are associated with neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry, others with surgery, basic science, and other areas of medicine.

In chapter 3,

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