Book Review: Marsden's Book of Movement Disorders

Authors: Prof. Ivan Donaldson, the late C. David Marsden, DSc, FRS, Kailash P. Bhatia, MD, Susanne A. Schneider, MD
Publisher: Oxford University Press (2012)
Winner of First Prize in Medical Book Awards-Neurology category by the British Medical Association, 2013

Review contributed by Marcelo Merello, MD, PhD
FLENI, Buenos Aires, Argentina
January 2013
Fifty-two chapters with more than 1,500 pages and hundreds of figures and photographs, outstanding clinicians on the authors list, under the umbrella of none other than the late C. David Marsden, this formidable book made a huge impression when I opened the heavy envelope it was delivered in. I had been made aware of the huge endeavor behind it by Dr. Kailash Bhatia, MD, who during a long chat at the airport in Dublin a couple of years ago, had explained the titanic process of finishing a book of this nature, while keeping updated chapters already written or drafted by David Marsden many years before.
I think it is pointless to write about the quality of the scientific content of a book written, designed and drafted by Marsden and completed by a list of such prestigious clinicians. The book is very well structured with a huge amount of functional anatomy and superb clinical details, described in the inimitable Marsden style followed by encyclopedic revision on topics Dr. Bhatia has us used to reading. The combination of long lasting or perhaps perpetual knowledge with classic descriptions makes it a sophisticated textbook, of interest both for the well trained movement disorder specialist, as well as the less expert student. The reference list is complete and updated including the very latest material from the year of galley proof submissions after every chapter.
The myoclonus section is full of electrophysiological recordings with a comprehensive revision of the causes and classifications, allowing clinical distinction from other hyperkinetic movement disorders and exploring the boundaries between movement disorders and epilepsy in one of the most complete revisions on the topic I have ever read. Together with the symptomatic parkinsonian syndromes and dystonia chapters - these were the sections of the book I enjoyed the most.
In times of multimedia, the collection of photographs, pictures and typical MRI scans, offering clear examples of all the different pathologies, make the book well illustrated and reader friendly, not a minor point for such a lengthy volume. Numerous tables detailed in different colors allow very easy and quick reference for specific consultation. It is without a doubt a great addition to anyone’s library.