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The Oxford Specialist Handbooks in Neurology: Epilepsy
Article Type: Resource reviews From: Social Care and Neurodisability, Volume 2, Issue 3
Gonzalo Alarcon, Lina NashefThe Oxford Press2009£44.95(Paperback)ISBN 978-0-19-857073-8
The Oxford Specialist Handbooks in Neurology: Epilepsy transported me back 15 years to those not so halcyon days of sleepless nights, sweaty palms and fear of the unknown, for during my house jobs I carried an Oxford handbook. I thought I would use the Epilepsy Handbook for the purpose for which it is intended – so for four weeks of my life I carried this lightweight manual through my daily life-clinics, meetings, and the commute to work […] and referred to it when I needed a refresher or just for interest.
Into 567 pages is crammed an amazing amount of information. Everything epilepsy related seems to be covered; for my patient with tuberous sclerosis it reminded me of the clinical signs, for my patient with severe learning disability it summarised the dose and route of use for paraldehyde. It contained authoritative information on all AEDs (except the latest release eslicarbazepine), the surgical aspects of epilepsy and epilepsy in special groups, such as woman. The book is brimming with up-to-date knowledge and is evidence based. It is easy to use, lightweight so fits nicely into my suit pocket and indexed well so I could get my hands on the knowledge quickly.
There is just one significant criticism – The Handbook is very focused on a UK audience, for example it has no useful information on cistercicosis – the commonest cause of epilepsy world-wide – and very little is provided discussing the huge burden of epilepsy and its causes in the developing world. But overall this is a remarkable little manual stuffed fill of knowledge-suitable for those with little knowledge of epilepsy as a condition, to those, like me, who are supposed to be experts. I would thoroughly recommend it for professions who have contact with patients with epilepsy, it is easy to carry and you are very likely to find what you need between its covers. It will allow you a better understanding of the person, their condition and their treatment.
Reviewed by Dougall McCorryConsultant Neurologist and Epileptologist at the University Hospital Birmingham