Authors: Kathreena M. Kurian, Tim H. Moss, and Sandra Camelo-Piragua
Publisher:  Cambridge University Press – 234 pages
Book Review by: Nano Khilnani

Galen (129 AD – 200 / 216 AD), commonly known as the ‘Father of Medicine’, and the first known physician, was also the first pathologist because he dissected the cadavers of monkeys whom he believed had internal organs similar to humans. At that time, the ruling authorities strictly prohibited the dissection of human bodies. Galen therefore advised his students to examine the bodies of Roman gladiators who were killed.

He was known also for his ‘squealing pig experiment’ whereby he would cut open a pig, and while it was squealing he would cut the nerve, or vocal cords, showing they controlled the making of sound.

It has been presumed (not verified) among people in medical circles that that was how the study of neuropathology began. True or not, neuropathology has been in existence for nearly two thousand years. This book, as its title above reads, takes a practical approach to this medical discipline.

Accordingly, when you browse through this rather slim handbook of just over 200 pages (as we did) you will find an amazing number of full-color brain and nerve images with detailed descriptions of the conditions explanations at the bottom of each image. We counted 420 images! Divide that by the total number of this book’s pages, and you come up with an average of nearly two images per page (420 images divided by 234 pages = 1.80 images).

  1. Pathological reaction to disease
  2. Developmental and perinatal disorders
  3. Perinatal pathology
  4. Malformations
  5. Vascular disease
  6. Vascular malformations
  7. Trauma
  8. Blunt head injury
  9. Penetrating (missile) injury
  10. Infection
  11. Bacteria
  12. Viruses
  13. Fungi
  14. Parasites
  15. White matter disease
  16. Demyelination
  17. Demyelination / Leukodystrophies
  18. Metabolic disorders
  19. Acquired metabolic disorders
  20. Inherited metabolic disorders
  21. Phakomatoses
  22. Neurodegenerative disease
  23. Movement disorders
  24. Dementias
  25. Tumors
  26. Spine and spinal cord
  27. Spinal column
  28. Spinal cord
  29. Cysts and miscellaneous lesions

This book is indeed a practical guide to gross neuropathology with clear anatomical descriptions provided at the bottom of the images, and the physiological conditions therein.


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Kathreena M. Kurian is Senior Clinical Lecturer and Clinical Neuropathologist in the Institute of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Bristol and Frenchay Hospital in Bristol in the United Kingdom.

Tim H. Moss is a former Consultant Neuropathologist at Frenchay Hospital, and a Senior Consultant Neuropathologist at the University of Bristol in Bristol in Bristol in the United Kingdom

Sandra Camelo-Piragua is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Neuropathy Division of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.