The title and preface of this book allude to an evaluation of the clinical hypotheses and basic data supporting neurosurgical therapy of the central nervous system (CNS). The book does broadly achieve these goals, although frequently in a modest and uncritical manner. Thus, this volume should be considered as a worthwhile extension of standard neurosurgical textbooks rather than as a collection of critical reviews of neurosurgical hypotheses.
The representation of topics is patchy, and the individual chapters vary considerably in quality and depth of discussion. The chapters in the initial section, "Basic Neuroscience," illustrate this point well. One chapter discusses the basic embryology of the CNS while the next presents clinical aspects of developmental anomalies. The only "basic" neuroscience chapter, "The Chemical Basis of Neurological Function," is brief and almost seems out of context with the remainder of the book. This scheme of organization appears to discount the importance of