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Neurobiology of chemical transmission Edited by Masanori Otsuka and Zach Hall John Wiley & Sons New York 1979 $25.

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BOOKS
Brief Reviews
Aminofl, Michael J . (ed), Electrodiagnosis in Clinical
Neurology. New York, ChurchilllLivingstone, 1980, $45 .OO
Dr Aminoff’s book covers a wide range of topics in clinical
neurophysiology, and he has elicited contributions from a
number of distinguished individual authors. These include
Brazier, Tharp, Gevins, Marsan, Daube, Lenman, Shahani
and Young, Armington, Sokal, Stockard and Sharbrough,
Giblin, Matthews, Schindler and Weigel, Weitzman, Pollak
and McGregor, and Chatrian. Topical coverage includes
EEG, depth electrography, EMG, nerve conduction studies, transmission analysis, clinical reflexology, ERG, visual
evoked responses, brainstem auditory evoked responses,
somatosensory evoked responses, ENG, sleep recordings,
and electrophysiological evaluation of brain death. The
volume is comprehensive and can be recommended.
Federoff, S., and Hertz, L . (eds), Advances in Cellular
Neurobiology, Vol 1. New York, Academic Press, 1980,
$39.50
This is the first volume in a series intended to provide regular reviews of new information on cellular neurobiology.
Each volume will contain three subdivisions, including cell
differentiation, aging and pathology, and methodology.
The contributors to this first volume are generally of high
quality and are well-established investigators in the field.
lirium as a nonspecific psychopathological response that
reflects a diffuse disturbance of cerebral metabolism. One
senses that he objects to classifying it with confusion as a
point along a gradient between full wakefulness and complete unarousability in the metabolic encephalopathies, but
at the moment no satisfactory alternative to this view can
be put forward. The value of the book lies in its extensive
review of the topic and the impartial summarization of its
bibliography. Somewhat disappointing is the absence of a
specific point of view or evidence of personal work on the
problem. General causes and management are dealt with in
the first half of the book, while the last half covers specific
conditions ranging from drugs to endogenous disorders to
epilepsy. There is no other recent English-language monograph on the subject and the book can be recommended
for all neurology libraries, but check your copy first-ours
had no print on pages 56 to 88 inclusive.
Roberts, P . J . (ed), Biochemistry of Dementia. New York,
John Wiley C Sons, 1980, $46.00
The detailed presentation of many of the topics in this volume suggests that this must have been an unusually valuable symposium to attend. In printed form, however, its
original material risks being buried beneath a great deal of
information that is duplicated in other sources. Even libraries will soon come to realize they can’t afford this
much redundancy.
Finelli, P . F., Diagnostic Reference Index of Clinical
Neurology. Baltimore, The Williams G Wilkins Company,
1980, $33.00 (paper)
Reviews
This paperback volume represents the initial effort of a
new idea, namely, to provide immediately available reference entry points for a large number of neurological diseases, symptoms, mechanisms, and related topics. The substantial number of entry items are alphabetized and cover
342 pages. These are supplemented by 3,252 bibliographic
entries providing detailed information on the indexed
items. It is an interesting idea and should considerably
shorten the time required for both staff members and those
in training to find detailed consideration of a variety of
items whose original source has slipped the memory. Only
time will tell whether this is the best approach to the problem, but it is a good start and an enormous labor of love.
Neurobiology of Chemical Transmission
Edited by Masanori Otsuka and Zuch Hall
John Wiley G Sons, New York, 1979
$25.50
Lessell, S., and V a n Dalen, J . T . W . (eds), NeuroOphthalmology, Vol 1. Amsterdam, Excerpta Medica,
1980, $78.00
For many years the Archives of Ophthalmology published annual reviews, but these were discontinued after 1974 because of the burden of keeping up with the enormous volume of published material. This book represents the first of
a series which apparently will continue that useful function.
The reviews contained in this issue, which include the visual system, the ocular motor system, the pupil, ocular
manifestations of neurological diseases, the orbit, and diagnostic methods, are by international authorities and are
both comprehensive and detailed.
Lipowski, Z . J., Delirium-Acute Brain Failure in Man.
Sprindeld, IL, Charles C Thomas, 1980, $39.75
Dr Lipowski provides a lengthy and detailed review of
many aspects of this important subject. H e regards de-
This volume reports the proceedings of a symposium on
chemical transmission held in October, 1977, in Kyoto,
Japan. Reports by 22 investigators are divided into three
subtopics of equal length. The first part, on mechanisms
of chemical transmission, includes chapters on neurotransmitter synthesis and release, regulation of acetylcholine receptors, and axoplasmic flow. A section on development of signaling and synaptic contact contains papers
on the formation of neuromuscular synapses in vitro, the
regulation of expression of neurotransmitter synthetic
pathways and receptor sensitivities, and the development
of specific cell connections. The final subtopic, on synaptic
transmission in higher systems, contains articles on
identification of neurons and pathways by transmitter histochemical or electrophysiological techniques, actions of
barbiturates, adenine nucleotides, and acidic amino acids
in the central nervous system, electrical properties of
neurosecreting cells, and synaptogenesis following CNS
lesions. Subject material is equally balanced between
morphological, biochemical, and electrophysiological approaches.
Despite the subheadings, the volume represents a rather
diverse collection of articles which in no way can be considered a systematic o r comprehensive discussion of
neurotransmission. Most of the papers discuss original research and are narrow in scope. Thus, this volume is of
interest mainly to investigators active in the research areas
covered. Several articles are particularly noteworthy. The
chapters o n neuron identification by transmitter histochemistry and environmental determinants of transmitter
synthetic pathways are succinctly written and wellreferenced reviews. The articles o n regulation of acetylcholine receptors and formation of neuromuscular
synapses are cogent and systematic presentations which
effectively relate specific research findings to fundamental
questions in neurobiology.
One drawback is the length of time between the symposium and publication of this volume. In some cases, the
data have already been published elsewhere.
James C . Blosser, PhD
Department of Neurology
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, T X 77030
Proceedings of the Second World Congress on Pain
(Advances i n Pain Research and T h e r a p y , V o l 3 )
Edited by John J . Bonica,John C . Liebeskind,
and Denise G . Albe-Fessard
Raven Press, New York, I979
$75.00
This volume contains ninety papers selected from the hundreds presented at the Second World Congress o n Pain
held in 1978. Most interesting is the overview it presents of
work being done in the field of pain. From this book one
can acquire a large amount of information concerning the
anatomy and physiology of neurons and circuits activated
by noxious stimuli, the abnormalities exhibited by some of
these neurons in experimental and clinical painful states,
the effects of stimulation of various structures on the
transmission of nociceptive information, the measurement
of pain, the endorphins, and the clinical manifestations of
several important painful conditions. However, since many
of the communications are terse, consist of reports of research heretofore unpublished (and incidentally, unreviewed), and often assume a working knowledge of
anatomy or physiology o r neurosurgery, this collection of
papers can best be understood by those already conversant
with the field. It is not a book to be read lightly by the
practicing neurologist in search of a comprehensive scheme
for managing patients suffering from pain.
As in all such collections, a few papers stand out-in this
case offering evidence of the amazing distance the field has
progressed since Melzack and Wall advanced their catalytic
gate hypothesis in 1965. Particularly impressive contributions in this regard are the papers by Zimmerman (spinal
and peripheral mechanisms involved in nociception), Wall
(changes in damaged nerves and their sensory consequences), Gobel (neural circuitry in the substantia
gelatinosa), Mayer (endogenous analgesia systems), Fields
and Basbaum (descending pain control systems), Andersson (pain control by sensory stimulation), Howe
(mechanisms of radicular pain produced by root compression), and Bonica (causalgia). Most of these papers are reviews of recent work o r combinations of new observations
with summaries of previous knowledge.
As expected in a book of this type, there is no unifying
theme beyond the subject of the conference. However, the
108 Annals of Neurology
Vol 10 No 1 July 1981
editors have attempted to keep the treatment balanced.
And while there is not a synthesis of existing ideas, the review papers d o put things in perspective. In addition, the
book serves two very useful purposes: it provides one with
a feeling for the “state of the art” and acts as a stimulus for
further research.
Robert A . Dauidoff, M . D .
Depurtment of Neurology ( 0 4 - 5 )
University of Miami
School of Medicine
PO Box 01 6960
Miami, FL 33101
Clinical Neurophysiology of the Vestibular System
(Contemporary Neurology Series, Vol 18)
By R. W . Baloh and V . Honrubia
F . A . Davis Company, Philadelphia, 1979
230 pp, iliustrated, $30.00
This superb text by a neurologist and an otolaryngologist
successfully fills a gap in the neurological literature and
presents a clear exposition of the basic physiology and
clinical disorders of the vestibular system. The authors first
give a detailed review of the anatomy, phylogeny, and
physiology of vestibular function. The introductory chapter
is followed by review of the peripheral and central vestibular systems. These sections are well illustrated and include modern concepts of function of the vestibular end
organ and known anatomy of the central vestibular pathways. The reader is carefully guided through mathematical
concepts of vestibular physiology, anatomical control of
eye movements, and complexities of visual-vestibular interactions.
T h e authors’ approach to clinical evaluation of the vestibular system, including a brief review of nystagmus, is
presented in the fourth chapter. Since electronystagmography is one of the major diagnostic techniques
for evaluation of the vestibular system, a full chapter is
devoted to this technique of eye movement recording
and its interpretation. The only section that is, unfortunately, too brief is that on clinical evaluation of hearing,
with just a passing review of audiometry and a brief paragraph on auditory evoked potentials. This would have been
an ideal opportunity to review information that is difficult
for neurologists to obtain in an understandable format. The
final section, on differential diagnosis of vestibular system
disease, includes descriptions of most known disorders
producing vertigo and dizziness.
The entire text contains appropriate, up-to-date references and is very readable. Clinical Neurophysiology of the
Vestibular System is a major and most affordable text which
I would strongly recommend as a purchase for all
neurologists dealing with patients who experience dizziness
as well as those who want an up-to-date review of the neurophysiology of vestibular function.
8. Todd Troost, M D
Veterans Administration Medical Center
Wade Park
Cleveland, OH 44106
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1979, transmission, sons, zach, new, john, halls, york, masanori, chemical, otsuka, neurobiologie, edited, wiley
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