B O O K REVIEWS ELETTROENCEFALOGRAFIA CLINICA M. GOZZANO and S. COLOMBATI Rosemberg and Sellier, T o r i n o ( I t a l y ) , 1951. 150 pp., 117 figs. This useful book is the first practical guide to the clinical use of electroencephalography in Italian. Though the Authors present their modest volume as an elementary introduction to E E G work, a large amount of digested information is included. The Authors published their first observations in E E G 17 (M.G.) and 13 (S.C.) years ago and are the pioneers of clinical electroencephalography in Italy. The difficulties in the Italian terminology, of which the English equivalent has already an accepted international value, are usually overcome by adding the English word in brackets. A bias towards practical applications however, is met with in the first page, where it is said that "the electrical potentials of the brain have a duration between 500 and 40 milliseconds, i.e., a frequency expressed in cycles per second between 0.5 and 25; they rarely exceed these limits". A sensible summary of electronics is included in the first 27 pages. The next 14 pages are devoted to a description of some kinds of electrodes and to the various arrangement of these on the scalp. Many diagrams are included according to the various schools, b u t . t h e electrode arrangement in use at the National Hospital (W. A. Cobb) is attributed to W . Grey Walter. A chapter of two pages, devoted to "the physiological meaning
of brain potentials" shows peculiar physical bias in the interpretation of biological phenomena. In the chapter on the normal EEG, there are one or two unexpected statements: it is said that rhythmic activity (alpha rhythm) often appears more regular and of larger amplitude over the left hemisphere than over the right; and that an asymmetry in the blockin 9 of the alpha rhythm may be due to an interruption or disturbance of the central optic pathways in one hemisphere The explanation of the responses evoked by photic stimulation represents a blend of some popular views. An 8-page summary on pharmacology concludes the first part. The second part deals with abnormal E E G and thirty pages are devoted to epilepsy, eleven to cerebral tumours and the last 13 to other conditions, including a personal observation of subacute sclerosing leucoencephalitis. No bibliography is included. Apart from the minor details mentioned above, this little book is very well presented and is one of the first attempts in current literature to provide a condensed and up-to-date exposition of the basis of clinical electroencephalography. The abundent illustrations are clear and well produced. G. PAMPlGLIONE, (London)
ELECTROENCEPHAL. O G R A P H Y IN C L I N I C A L P R A C T I C E ROBERT S. SCHWAB, M . D . London, 1951, 195 pp. $6.50.
W . S. Saunders Co., Philadelphia ~ Somebody once "remarked that books of a complex, scientific subject designed for "condensed popularization" remind him of a dog walking o11 his hind legs: it looks awkward and unnatural but everybody is surprised that it is done at all. However, after readin 9 the barely 175 pages of Dr. Schwab's new book "Electroencephalography in Clinical Practice", even an experienced electroencephalographer cannot help but wonder about the wealth of material and excellence of presentation in such a condensed form. Dr. Schwab remarks that this book is "intended for neurologists, internists, psychiatrists and neurosurgeons", but in the opinion of this reviewer it will be also quite helpful to many clectroencephalographers,
particularly those who are busily engulfed in one particular research subject and who may lose the overall medical connections of clinical electroencephalography. The book, excellently printed and illustrated, starts with a chapter entitled "Historical Summary". This presentation does sufficient justice to the AngloAmerican school and mentions some oF the work which was done abroad. Chapter two is entitled "The Relation of Neurophysiology and Electroencephalography". It seems to this reviewer that the author has here sacrificed to many "intcrnunciated" details for the sake of brevity. This appears to us the only chapter in an