International textbook of allergy

International textbook of allergy

248 V NORRIS. Mental Illness in London. 1959 317 pp , 35s Book reviews Maudsley Monograph, No 6 Chapman & Hall, London, THIS monumental posthumous...

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248 V NORRIS. Mental Illness in London. 1959 317 pp , 35s

Book reviews Maudsley Monograph,

No 6 Chapman

& Hall, London,

THIS monumental posthumous work IS a survey of the populations admltted to certain observation units and mental hospitals m the London area durmg the period 1947-1949 Two observation umts and three mental hospitals were selected, the patients admltted durmg the selected period were followed up until 31 December 1951 The extent of the work can be Judged from the fact that 11,000 case papers were examined and thirty dlfferent Items were recorded for analysis on each What emerges from this enormous work IS perhaps a little dlsappomtmg The expectation of mental illness-much worked upon m Scandmavla--ls shown to be hrgh, and the survey confirms what we already know about the comparative mcldence of the different categories of psychosls The prognosis of all mental disorders severe enough to require mental hospital treatment IS shown to be poor The work IS Impeccably done and the findmgs will be useful as a baseline for comparmg the situation m 1947-1949 with what ISobtamed later The trouble IS that these years are already regarded almost as the “bad old days”, there has been a great upsurge m psychiatry New drugs, new psychlatrusts, new ideas of treatment and of the social handlmg of patients may make this study no more than an academic exercise This attitude, of course, IS Just the one which Dr VERA NORRIS has sought to demolish by her impeccable survey--lt would need more evidence than she puts forward to do so m 1959 The book IS beautifully produced Professor AUBREYLEWIS’Susual modest editorial foreword cannot hide the Immense part he has played m brmgmg the book to press-nor mdeed m brmgmg about the success of the whole series The price alone makes the book a bargain DENIS LEIGH

J M JAMAR InternatIonal Textbook of Allergy. Blackwell Scientific Pubhcatlons, 639 pp , E5. 10s Od

Oxford,

1959

ALLERGISTSare almost as prohfic writers as psychlatrlsts, and there tend to be too many symposia published that repeat the same reviews of the literature, the same expernnents, and the same views This textbook, however, provides an extremely useful addition to the literature It takes the form of a series of thirty-one articles by different authors, each dealing with a particular aspect of allergy The chapter by STOKVISon the “Psychosomatic aspects and psychotherapy m allergic diseases” 1s particularly valuable, for a fairly comprehensive bibliography of 296 items 1s given, together with a most useful review of the literature Slmllarly excellent, but m a different way, 1s the chapter by OSTFELDand WOLFFon “vascular headache of the migraine type” D A WILLIAMS’chapter, as one has come to expect from this worker, 1s the best of its kmd, and provides mformatlon not easily obtainable elsewhere It can be For all workmg m the field this book will provide an excellent source of reference thoroughly recommended DENIS LEIGH

JOHN MARSHALL:Clinical Neurophysiology. Blackwell Scientific Pubhcatlons, 36s 6d

Oxford, 1959 296 pp ,

WEREthis book bemg reviewed m a Neurological Journal there would be little need to recommend It A classlcal neurology has always kept m touch with its basic sciences of anatomy and physiology volume such as this coming, as It were, from the Delphlc oracle Itself will be its own recommendation to the neurologist This 1s not to imply, however, that psychiatry has lost touch with Its basic sciences It 1s only because attempts to estabhsh the relationship between nerve-cell function and psychologlcal process has up to the present presented such formidable difficulties that the problem has for preference been tackled from other dIrectIons-such as normal and abnormal psychology, sociology and so on