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Book Review: Multiple Sclerosis Sourcebook, 1st Ed
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Multiple Sclerosis Sourcebook, 1st Edition
Edited by Joyce Brennfleck Shannon

Book Details:
Published: 2007
ISBN: 978-0-7808-0998-7
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 600
Regular Price: $78.00
Where to buy: Omnigraphics

Description:
Multiple Sclerosis Sourcebook, First Edition provides information about the risk factors, causes, and types of multiple sclerosis and its effects on mobility, vision, bladder function, speech, swallowing, and cognition. Treatments and therapies, such as physical, occupational, and counseling rehabilitation therapies, are described. Guidelines for nutrition and exercise, tips on choosing assistive equipment, and information about disability, work, financial, and legal issues are included, along with a glossary and directory of resources.

CMSC review by Alex Rae-Grant, M.D., F.R.C.P.(C.):
This book is one of a huge series of books modeled on the same lines. To my read there are 90+ texts in the Sourcebook series covering topics as varied as 'Leukemia Sourcebook' and 'Smoking Concerns Sourcebook'. The durability of this series attests to the fact that it must be meeting a need of some kind.

The MS source book weighs in at 553 pages including index. It is a compilation from a variety of sources. When it arrived in my mailbox for review my immediate impulse was to lay it down and leave it alone. However I overcame my readers fatigue and dove in. By the 4th chapter I was making notes! The sources that this book uses are common but in general good ones. They are selected for readability to a general audience and so the National MS society (NMSS), National institute of neurological disorders (NINDS), and the Consortium of MS centers (CMSC) all provide source materials. Like any multi-authored texts the chapters vary. However the editor has tried to cover many topics and this makes the source book useful as a guidepost for patients and families dealing with problems that range from pain control to financial planning. In addition a glossary and contact source for various agencies is in the text and I believe very helpful for the plethora of needs that the MS population has.

My only issue with the book was that some chapters seemed to be unnecessary and probably confusing. For example, an early chapter is on the 'Male experience with MS'. Since MS is predominantly a disease of females, I would have expected an even earlier chapter on the female experience. In addition there are chapters on movement disorders (Chapter 15), and a general chapter on autoimmune disease (Chapter 2) which seems unnecessary. Isn’t there enough to learn about MS without going outside the wide boundaries of this disease? Having said this, I found that most of the sources were up to date and when I looked over specifics such as drug therapies for disease modification and fatigue, the discussions were appropriate and included risks and side effects.

I think this text would be most useful for someone without easy access to the internet who needs advice about a broad range of medical and social issues related to MS. It may also be useful for health professionals and other care providers as a training tool for workers new to MS.

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