Medicine And Books


BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 20 January 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:193
  1. Alex Paton

    Increasing recognition of the interaction of brain, endocrine glands, and the immune system is the basis for Stress, the Immune System and Psychiatry (Wiley, pounds sterling40, ISBN 0 471 95258 3). Subjects range widely from the stressor effects of examinations, bereavement, infections, surgery, and space travel to depression, schizophrenia (a third of patients show an immune response), and food allergy.

    So great are the practical problems of looking after the elderly with mental illness that research tends to suffer. Elaine Murphy and George Alexopoulos have assembled a group of international experts to show what can be done in Geriatric Psychiatry: Key Topics for Clinicians (Wiley, pounds sterling39.95, ISBN 0 471 95168 4). Research methods, dementia, depression, and psychoses occupy much of the book, but ways of looking at long term care and coping are also considered.

    Philip Rhodes, emeritus professor of obstetrics, former postgraduate dean, and prolific writer on medical history, has produced A Short History of Clinical Midwifery (Midwives Press, pounds sterling17.95, ISBN 1 898507 22 8). It is a lively and readable tribute to the midwives and obstetricians who have contributed to maternal care over the past 2000 years.

    Over 100 practitioners have contributed to Therapeutic Choices (Canadian Pharmaceutical Association, $49.95 (plus $10 shipping and handling) ISBN 0 919115 67 5), an attractive paperback of over 700 pages describing nearly 100 conditions dealt with by the generalist; it largely mirrors British practice. Each chapter has a useful flow chart of general management and drug use, and comparative costs of different treatments.

    Roy and Caroline Hayim have teamed up to write the story of his devastating attack of botulism in The Will to Live (Janus, pounds sterling8.99, ISBN 1 85756 154 6). Left completely paralysed, he took a fully year to recover. Reading their moving account one is left wondering whom to admire most—husband, wife, their three children, or the devoted hospital staff.

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