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February 1995

Prognosis of Neurologic Disorders

Author Affiliations

Columbus, Ohio

Arch Neurol. 1995;52(2):123. doi:10.1001/archneur.1995.00540260021005

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The editors of this remarkable book point out that clinical neuroscience is concerned with diagnosis, treatment, and then prognosis. The editors agree with the interesting chapter that suggests prognosis is, in fact, the keystone of clinical neurology, the fundamental question for doctors and patients. Ethicists contribute a useful chapter that emphasizes the variety of meaning of, for example, clinical success vs failure, expectation vs reality, and potential vs performance. Psychological aspects of prognostic judgment are reviewed in an early chapter, one that is valuable, if for no other reason, because every clinician wonders while offering prognostic opinions just what the impact of such counsel will be on the patient and family. Prognostication also affects physician behavior.

The over 50 chapters prepared by a group of exceptional authors, most joined by a junior colleague, document that prognosis may vary depending on what treatment approach is used. Thus, in many chapters a

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