The Encyclopedia of Neuropsychological Disorders edited by Drs Chad A. Noggle, Raymond S. Dean, and Arthur MacNeil Horton, Jr, was created with the goal of providing a reference book of disorders with biological–psychological interactions, with a particular focus on disorders in the fields of neuropsychology, neuropsychiatry, and neurology. The book itself is a comprehensive compilation, with a clearly outlined goal and purpose (as presented by the editors themselves in the preface).
Specifically, the book covers ∼295 pediatric, adult, and geriatric disorders. It includes both common and rare disorders, including medical, psychiatric, neurological, genetic, and learning disorders. It literally is laid out like a traditional encyclopedia and covers everything from A (acute disseminated encephalomyelitis) to Z (Zelleger's syndrome). You can easily find the disorder you are looking for through the alphabetical index of disorders or using the “List of Entries” which includes both the disorder name and the section author. One of the strengths of this book is the consistency in the organization, which makes it much easier to cover so much material. Each disorder covered includes a (i) description, (ii) neuropathology/pathophysiology, (iii) neuropsychological/clinical presentation, (iv) diagnosis, (v) treatment, and (vi) a reference section. The list of contributors recruited by the editors is impressive and includes many of the leaders in the field and experts on the disorders covered in the book. However, as can be anticipated, although the presentation of each disorder is organized into the same sections, the quality of the information included in those sections is variable.
Overall, the book meets the goal of serving as a reference resource. Indeed, it is not designed to be read from cover to cover, but rather as a useful tool to look up information that can be used clinically or for research purposes. It is a very comprehensive listing and, from my experience, includes most of the disorders I have come across (or have heard about from colleagues) and then some.…in fact, I was hard pressed to come up with a disorder not included (even after searching the web). So, I feel confident in saying that as a reference the book will likely provide some information on the majority of disorders commonly seen by neuropsychologists and other clinicians. The one area of concern to users to consider is the time sensitivity of the information. For example, for some disorders that are rare and may have a smaller body of research (e.g., Capgras Syndrome), the information provided may be current for a longer period of time. In contrast, for disorders where there is a quickly growing body of research (e.g., Autism), the information provided may be more time-sensitive and not as comprehensive. So while, the book meets its goal of providing a more reliable and empirically sound resource than what may be obtained from the internet, it does have some limitations and users need to consider this. One thing the editors may want to consider in future editions is the potential for providing a more interactive book, which may include other resources such book-specific web-based resources or listing of reliable internet sites for the disorders.
In summary, the editors set out to meet a very specific goal, and the book that they have generated can serve as a very useful and comprehensive resource for many clinicians and trainees and is an excellent addition to any neuropsychologist's library.