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Book and Media Review
January 2016

Review of Neurocinema: When Film Meets Neurology

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurology, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
JAMA Neurol. 2016;73(1):129. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.2418

Neurocinema: When Film Meets Neurology
Eelco F. M. Wijdicks
313 pp, $35.96, ISBN 978-1-48224-286-7, Boca Raton, Florida, CRC Press, 2014.

Neurocinema covers a topic of great interest to anyone working in the field of neurology. How are neurologic disorders and the physicians treating them portrayed in film and, therefore, most likely perceived by the general public?

To answer this question, Eelco F. M. Wijdicks reviews a wide range of films from Hollywood productions to documentaries. He discusses their content and rates their scientific accuracy. The book is divided into 7 chapters. Starting with an introductory overview chapter titled “Medicine in Film,” the book then moves on to analyze the presentation of “The Neurologist in Film,” “Neurologic Disorders in Film,” “Neuroethics in Film,” “Neurologic Disorders in Documentary Film,” and “Neurofollies in Film.” To assess scientific accuracy, he rates films on a scale from 1 to 4 reflex hammers, with 1 reflex hammer meaning “incorrect depictions” and 4 reflex hammers meaning “mandatory viewing.” Films mentioned in the sixth chapter (ie, “Neurofollies in Film”) are rated on a scale from 1 to 3 pinpricks, with 1 pinprick meaning “highly improbable plot” and 3 pinpricks meaning “hats off to the screenwriter’s imagination.”

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