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Infectious Diseases of the Central Nervous System

Jerry D. Smilack, MD
JAMA. 1985;253(8):1182. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350320108035.
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The reader picking up a book with this title probably expects current information on such topics as bacterial and aseptic meningitis, cryptococcal and tuberculous CNS infections, and brain abscesses. Most likely, he expects a summary of important knowledge on pathogenesis, epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment. I regret to state that the reader will be disappointed.

This volume, a compilation of material presented at a recent symposium, includes discussions on pathophysiology and epidemiology of viral infections, scrapie prions, and immunemediated CNS diseases—hardly what most practitioners seek in a reference book. Topics of more clinical relevance, such as treatment of bacterial infections of the CNS, neuroradiological diagnosis of CNS infections, and herpes encephalitis, are dealt with superficially. Cryptococcal disease is not even discussed.

Inaccuracies ("recommendations for prophylactic therapy [for Haemophilus influenzae contacts] have not yet been established") and innumerable misspellings cast doubt on the preparation of this volume. That the book is not


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