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Imaging Anatomy of the Human Brain
10 September 2015
11 September 2015
04 November 2015 (online)
Neil M. Borden, Cristian Stefan, Scott E. Forseen. Imaging Anatomy of the Human Brain. New York, NY: Demos Medical; 2016 (442 pp). ISBN: 978-1-936287-74-1
Understanding neuroanatomy is fundamental to the practice of child neurology and epilepsy, and neuroimaging is our window into the structural complexities of normal and abnormal brain. While clinicians rely on neuroradiology colleagues for official interpretations, it is valuable to be able to personally review the scans and correlate anatomy with symptoms. Most of us learned neuroanatomy in medical school through two-dimensional pictures and drawings, and perhaps got a sense of three-dimensional structure through models or brain dissection. But with the advent of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other imaging modalities, the beauty and complexity of the brain has unfolded in a truly revolutionary sense. Beyond labeling brain areas by external or internal landmarks, it is now possible to visualize activation of selective brain regions with functional MRI (fMRI), white matter fiber direction, and orientation with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and regional metabolic activity with positron emission tomography. These are but a few of the advanced neuroimaging techniques essential to daily practice.
This volume presents a detailed and beautifully illustrated tour of neuroanatomy, employing each of these standard and advanced modalities. Following an introductory narrative chapter describing each brain region and its embryological origin, the remainder of the book utilizes the visual approach. Sequentially, the book proceeds from MRI, to fMRI, DTI, MR spectroscopy, cranial computed tomography, and several techniques of vascular imaging including MR angiography and conventional angiography. Ample use of color illustrates fiber tracts and differentiates different nuclei and other structures. The sections are amply labeled and easy to follow, allowing the reader to become familiar with cognate areas on images of multiple techniques. An especially informative section on cranial ultrasonography concludes the volume and keeps alive the importance of this technique for the assessment of the neonatal brain. The presentation of multiple planar views is useful. It would have been very helpful to have included a more detailed description of basic MRI sequences and when to order each, as well as such newer methods such as “quick” brain MRI.
It must be emphasized that this volume includes only normal images—no abnormalities are present. Perhaps the authors will follow this volume with one illustrating common neuropathological entities. This is not a book that most practicing pediatric epileptologists will need to own, but it is worthwhile to be aware of its existence and refer to a copy when needing to order or interpret neuroimaging studies.