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Book Reviews
May 2007

Autism: A Neurological Disorder of Early Brain Development

Arch Neurol. 2007;64(5):761-762. doi:10.1001/archneur.64.5.761

edited by Roberto Tuchman, MD, and Isabelle Rapin, MD, 354 pp, with illus, $115, ISBN 1-898683-49-2, Mac Keith Press, London, England, 2006.

Intended to be “launched” at the 10th International Child Neurology Congress in Montreal on June 14, 2006, this book is comprehensive in scope and rich in detail. Technical by nature, it was conceived “by neurologists for neurologists.” With 2 notable captains at the helm and a recent groundswell of interest in this topic, it should be smooth sailing. Recent events only serve to make the text all the more relevant. Newsweek's cover story “Growing Up With Autism” in the November 27, 2006, edition1 and the recent passage by Congress of the “Combating Autism Act,”2 which increases federal spending by 50%, reinforce our need to know more. This text addresses all the important clinical topics that might face a health care professional. Faced with today's Internet-savvy parents, the book provides a comprehensive review of our current state of knowledge. Because this is a fast-moving field, there are already a few advances beyond the text. Recent Food and Drug Administration approval of risperidone for irritability in autistic spectrum disorder obviously could not have been anticipated, but its off-label use is detailed. The recent discovery of increased susceptibility for autistic spectrum disorder due to genetic variation in the MET gene was not yet known, but the 7q31 chromosomal region was discussed several times in the text. Thus, though already becoming dated, its utility is undiminished.