There are many books on dementia on the market today. So, when I started reading Clinical Manual of Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementias, I wondered whether this would be another book that adds little to what we already know. After careful review, I must admit that this is one of the best clinical books I have read and an excellent manual for clinicians.
Compiling information for a manual that includes all aspects of a complex disorder such as dementia is no easy feat. Such a book should not only cover the various aspects of the disorder but also have enough depth to be useful to its target population—the clinician who needs up-to-date information to care for his or her patient. It is to the credit of Drs Weiner and Lipton that they have been able to put together a book that reviews most clinical aspects of the dementias in sufficient detail without being laborious.
The book is divided into 2 sections. Section 1 starts with the evaluation process, which includes neuropsychiatric, medical, and neurological assessment and neuropsychological testing. It provides a separate chapter on neuroimaging for the evaluation of cognitive impairment. Alzheimer disease (AD) and vascular dementia are discussed in this section as well as less common but still important syndromes (eg, traumatic brain injury, infectious and inflammatory disorders, alcohol-induced dementia).
The second section summarizes treatment options for AD, in addition to those for psychiatric and neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementias. This section includes a chapter on issues that are important to family members and caregivers—diagnosis, prognosis, family risk, caregiver stress, driving issues, and ethical concerns. The appendix provides names and addresses of agencies that can be helpful to families, caregivers, and professionals.
The authors are renowned researchers and clinicians who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the topic of dementias. The chapters are well organized and supported by easy-to-understand flowcharts, tables, figures, and images. The chapters end with clinical points that highlight key principles, and data are supported by an extensive and current bibliographic database. The only major drawback is that the book does not come in an electronic version.
The Clinical Manual of Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementias is a well-conceptualized and expertly written book with content on the latest information available on this topic. It is elegantly designed and appropriately priced, making it an excellent value for the money.