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Book Reviews   |    
Cognitive and Behavioral Rehabilitation: From Neurobiology to Clinical Practice
Reviewed by Alan D. Schmetzer, M.D.
Psychiatric Services 2005; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.56.9.1163
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edited by Jennie Ponsford; New York, Guilford Press, 2004, 366 pages, $50

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This is the fourth volume in the series The Science and Practice of Neuropsychology, edited by Robert A. Bornstein, Ph.D. Jennie Ponsford, editor of Cognitive and Behavioral Rehabilitation: From Neurobiology to Clinical Practice, has ten collaborating authors in this volume, most of whom are experts in their own right. Although the book's title could be interpreted as referring to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, it actually deals with rehabilitation for patients with brain injuries, particularly those with associated disorders of cognitive function.

The book begins with a history of neuropsychology and its approach to brain injuries, followed by discussions of injury-induced changes to neurons and brain structures. Possible mechanisms of cortical plasticity are discussed in detail. Theories of memory and how one might attempt to rehabilitate such deficits are reviewed in a single chapter. Most of the remainder of the book deals with rehabilitation of various specific injury-induced cognitive and behavioral disorders. These include defects in both spatial and nonspatial attention, language, executive functioning, and self-awareness. The summarizing chapter covers rehabilitation of patients who have either traumatic or cerebrovascular brain injury. The book concludes with a review of what is known now and future opportunities for research. Each chapter has a separate list of references, and there is a subject index at the end of the book. Although the chapters do jump back and forth somewhat in discussing theory versus clinical work, overall the text flows pretty well, and significant attention is devoted to the scientific evidence for theories and techniques.

This book is aimed primarily at neurologists and neuropsychologists. It would be of wider interest only if a behavioral clinician were providing consultation to a neurologic program, with the exception of a chapter on behavioral disturbances due to brain trauma. Although there are implications to be drawn about cognitive deficits in major mental illnesses, these are not really within the scope of this book. Those who teach medical students, neurology or psychiatry residents, or trainees in other rehabilitative disciplines about brain injury or cognitive deficits may find this book helpful in bringing knowledge up to date and, given how clearly the authors discuss complex matters, explaining these complicated concepts to learners.

Dr. Schmetzer is professor of psychiatry and superintendent of Larue Carter Hospital, Indiana University School of Medicine, in Indianapolis.

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