A textbook of clinical neurophysiology

A textbook of clinical neurophysiology

Axonal Transport. Neurology and Neurobiology, Vol. 2.5, edited by R.S. Smith and M.A. Bisby, Alan R. Liss, New York, 1987. This volume contains the pr...

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Axonal Transport. Neurology and Neurobiology, Vol. 2.5, edited by R.S. Smith and M.A. Bisby, Alan R. Liss, New York, 1987. This volume contains the proceedings of a satellite symposium of the 30th Congress of the International Union of Physiological Sciences held at the University of Calgary, Canada, 1986. It reviews recent investigations of the mechanisms and the functional implications of axonal transport under normal and pathological conditions. Following a brief introduction to current models of transport mechanisms written by Ochs, separate sections deal with specialized aspects of fast and slow axonal transport, such as the cellular control of transport mechanisms, the nature and functional properties of transported material in normal and diseased neurons, and the roles played by transported growth associated proteins in regeneration. Most papers in the book deal with basic features of cellular mechanisms with few or no direct connections with pain. However, there are some papers which may be of interest to readers of Pain. Tomlinson et al. have reviewed recent years research of the role played by slow transport defects in the development of diabetic neuropathies. It seems that the pathogenesis of the defects are various. Some are likely to be counteracted by control of blood glucose and/or can be counteracted pharmacologically in animal experiments, whereas others remain poorly understood. Indeed, further research in this matter is of great importance to provide future pharmacological methods to reduce neuropathies in patients, as control of blood sugar alone is often not sufficient. Tytell and Barbe have written an interesting paper on heat shock proteins. Such proteins are produced in a wide variety of cells, including nerve cells, in response to heat, mechanical injury, and potentially harmful substances. The paper provides evidence that heat shock proteins synthesis in the rat retina is stimulated by hyperthermia and subsequently transported in the optic nerve in association with the slow transport component b. The function of heat shock proteins may be involved in acquisition of stress tolerance by binding to and thereby preventing denaturation of

vulnerable cytoplasmatic proteins, such as enzymes. This phenomenon may be relevant also in physiological fever. Interestingly, the authors present preliminary data that heat stress prior to exposure to intensive light, known to produce considerable damage to the retina significantly reduced the damage, suggesting that heat shock proteins may improve the ability of nerve cells to survive trauma also in a simple mammalian in vivo situation. Of special interest to Pain readers may be a paper by Laduron who has investigated the dynamics of [3H]lofentanil bound opiate receptor transport in rat vagus nerve. In contrast to earlier in vitro studies, this study performed in vivo demonstrated both anterograde and retrograde transport of opiate receptors. The author speculates that the retrogradely transported opiate receptors, after being used in the periphery, may have a second, regulatory effect on gene expression in the cell body. This mechanism would then be responsible for long term effects of opiates, such as tolerance and physical dependence, rather than biochemical changes at the synaptic level. Surely, more research would be necessary to reinforce this theory. Axonal Transport provides the specifically interested neuroscientist with a review of recent years progress in understanding an important and basic feature of neuronal cell biology, but contains few direct clinical applications. Many chapters give sufficient background explanations which makes the book useful also for the uninitiated reader. C. Molander Department of Anatomy, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm (Sweden)

A Textbook of Clinical Neurophysiology, edited by A.M. Halliday, S.R. Butler and R. Paul, Wiley, Chichester, 1987, 730 pp., Price f32.50, ISBN O-471-90969-6. This textbook is a collection of review lectures given by distinguished basic scientists and clini-


cians and arranged as a comprehensive tutorial covering both fundamental and applied aspects of the EEG and clinical neurophysiology. The lectures were given during the 11th international congress held at the Barbican Centre for Arts and Sciences (London) in 1985 under the auspices of the International Federation of Societies of Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology (IFSECN). As stated in the preface, the tutorial lectures were structured to emphasize techniques and applications whose significance is well established and were aimed at updating knowledge for established workers and at providing an overview for newcomers in the field of EEG and clinical neurophysiology. The book is divided into 6 sections. The first section entitled ‘Basic Technique’ has 4 chapters describing recording techniques, the recording and measurements of evoked potentials (EPs), EMG and peripheral nerve recordings and computerized EEG analysis. The second section entitled ‘The Normal Record’ has 3 chapters describing normal limits in the EEG and evoked potentials and the normal record of sleep. The next 3 sections entitled ‘The Abnormal Record,’ ‘Abnormal EPs’ and ‘Abnormal EMG’ have each 4 chapters on various aspects of abnormal records including individual chapters on visual, somatosensory and auditory brain-stem potentials in the section on ‘Abnormal EPs.’ The sixth and final section of the book entitled ‘Neural Mechanisms’ contains the following 7 chapters (with their respective authors): Basic Mechanisms of the Epilepsies (U. Heinemann), Generators of Event-Related Potentials (C.C. Wood), Retinal Mechanisms and the Clinical Electroretinogram (H. Ikeda), Thalamocortical Mechanisms Underlying Synchronized EEG Activity (P. Buser), Central Motor Mechanisms (C.D. Marsden and J.C. Rothwell), Electrophysiological Correlates of Cognitive Processing: P3b and NC, Basic, Clinical, and Developmental Research (E. Courchesne, R. Elmasian and R. Yeung-Courchesne), and Sensory to Motor Information Processing in the Primate Brain (E.T. Rolls). As an outsider to the field of EEG and clinical neurophysiology I assert that the book has provided me with an excellent overview about the ‘state of the art’ and a most comprehensive

description of the latest methods and applications in clinical neurophysiology. The chapters are well printed and illustrated and, despite the multiauthorship, of uniformly high quality. The book is well laid out and indexed and reasonably priced. I was particularly fascinated with C.C. Wood’s chapter on generators of event-related potentials not only because of its emphasis on somatosensory pathways (a field of personal interest) but also because it presents a difficult subject with an interesting didactic approach. Readers of ‘Pain ’ may be disappointed to find virtually no reference in the book (including the chapter on somatosensory evoked potentials) on nociception or pain. This is not surprising, however, because the stimulus intensities employed in human somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) studies excite the largest myelinated fibers in peripheral nerves which in turn activate the dorsal column-medial lemniscal system, and clinical studies have consistently found SEP abnormalities associated with disorders of joint position, touch, vibration and stereognosis but not with disorders affecting only pain and temperature sensations. In summary, the breadth and authoritative depth of contents make this book a highly valuable asset to medical libraries and thoroughly recommended to both specialists and advanced students in clinical neurophysiology as well as neuroscientists in other fields. The editors and the IFSECN must, therefore, be applauded for accomplishing this enterprise. S.J. Jabbur Department of Physiology, Faculry of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut (Lebanon)

Textbook of Neonatology, edited by N.R.C. Roberton, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1986, Price ElOO, ISBN 0-443-02716-l. There is no doubt that this massive multi-author textbook is a bible for practising paediatricians or for any clinical or basic scientist who wishes to