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Book Review - Multiple Sclerosis: Immunology, Pathology, and Pathophysiology

Spring 2003
International Journal of MS Care
page 3, Volume 5, Issue 1

Robert M. Herndon, MD, editor
M239 pp. New York,
Demos Medical Publishing, 2003.
$89.95 US. ISBN 1-888799-62-5

Reviewed by Michael Kaufman, MD
Director of the MS Center
Carolinas HealthCare System
Charlotte, North Carolina

Multiple Sclerosis: Immunology, Pathology, and Pathophysiology, edited by Robert M. Herndon, MD, is a short text whose authors have been recruited from a small number of institutions—but they have been carefully chosen, as reflected by the book’s superior quality. This work exceeds its stated purpose as a companion to Multiple Sclerosis: Diagnosis, Medical Management, and Rehabilitation (edited by Jack S. Burks and Kenneth P. Johnson), standing on its own as a contribution to the MS literature. It is well edited, as evidenced by its logical organization and minimal repetition, and, for a multi-authored, basic science text, it is uniformly well written and current. Data are presented objectively, and speculation, where it exists, is identified. It is difficult to find a poor chapter, although the reader can skip over areas of lesser interest without losing overall understanding. Many of the references date to within the past five years. Although the illustrations and tables are half-tones, they are instructive and clear. The index is well organized and user friendly.

This book is sufficiently readable to be recommended to anyone with an elementary background in science and a significant interest in MS. The clinical researcher with a desire to better understand MS will also find it informative, as will those involved in basic research.

The reader first might wish to read this book through quickly in order to get an overview of the field. In doing so, it was apparent that although support for both the viral and the autoimmune etiology of MS was presented, the pathophysiologic mechanisms proposed for both were similar. Therefore, I was struck by the notion that these hypotheses might not be mutually exclusive, and that both mechanisms might apply to different patients or even to the same patient. Sections of interest might then be digested more slowly with the aid of the referenced material, especially when conflicting results are discussed. I look forward to the next edition and hope that it will be expanded while maintaining its high standard of scientific reporting.

Copyright © 2003, International Journal of MS Care