Intended for healthcare professionals

Medicine And Books


BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 18 March 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:749
  1. Alex Paton

    Irritable gut syndromes account for half the workload of a gastroenterologist. The Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (Little, Brown, £70, ISBN 0 316 19342 9) is extremely important, not just because it represents seven years' work by experts to produce “a multinational consensus” on the 25 functional gut disorders. The out-standing message is that a positive diagnosis can be made on symptom based criteria alone.

    In developing countries fewer than half the potential beneficiaries have access to surgical treatment for blindness. Eye Surgery in Hot Climates (Thorpe, £5, ISBN 0 7089 4499 X) is important (as well as being cheap) because it shows in clear writing and simple illustrations how much can be done by good practice, without the need for advanced technology.

    Doctors and others interested in the newish specialty of adolescent medicine will find Promoting the Health of Adolescents (Oxford University Press, £19.95, ISBN 0 19509188 4) comprehensive and forward looking. Although the authors and the data are American, problems are similar in Britain and there is plenty of common ground in tackling them.

    Based on the Wolfson public lectures of 1992, Food:Multidisciplinary Perspectives (Blackwell, £45, ISBN 0 631 18828 2) is a fascinating exploration of the complex interaction of issues related to food. Expert contributions range from biochemistry, medicine, and nutrition to anthropology, the economics of production and distribution, politics, and ethical and legal rights.

    Kenneth W Culver, who in 1990 carried out the first trial of gene therapy in a child with adenosine deaminase deficiency, has written a short handbook, Gene Therapy (Liebert, ISBN 0 913113 63 8). It provides a clear summary of recombinant DNA, the human genome project, methods of gene therapy, and prospects for the future—useful for intelligent lay people, including doctors.

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