Book Review: Common Movement Disorders Pitfalls: Case-Based Learning

Authors: Alberto Espay and Anthony E.Lang
Cambridge University Press (2012)
Review contributed by Prof. Carlo Colosimo, MD
 Professor of Neurology
 Sapienza University of Rome
 Rome, Italy

September 2013
In neurology, and in movement disorders perhaps more than any other neurological sub-specialty, clinical vignettes increase learning efficiency by illustrating examples and placing the theoretical concepts into everyday clinical practice. With this in mind, the educational book written by Drs. Espay and Lang is entirely case-based.
A number of possible pitfalls are considered in this volume. These include among others: missing the diagnosis, attributing findings to another disorder, missing clinical findings which are subtle, making wrong deductions from diagnostic tests and finally making errors in patient management.
The case-based format makes the book easy to read during short daily breaks and even at home, after dinner! There is a large variety of cases, some are easier and some much more challenging, making the book interesting to both residents, general neurologists and movement disorder specialists. The book presents 54 cases (video clips are included in a companion CD-ROM), structured according to the same format: the initial case report including all the laboratory exams, the original and final diagnosis (or therapeutic approach), discussion of what was wrong in the initial clinical approach and finally tips that the reader has to learn from that specific case.
These cases will be enjoyable to read and will certainly help readers lay a base of knowledge in movement disorders developing an organized approach to clinical decision-making. If I have to find one (minor) drawback in this nice volume, is the frequent use of North-American jargon which forced the (inexperienced) international reader like me to consult often an online dictionary. Similarly, the use of non-metric measurements, could have worried most of us around the world when reading of a patient with a temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit (indeed, according to Wikipedia, this remains the official scale for just 5 countries: United States, Cayman Islands, Palau, Bahamas and Belize!).