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Handbook of Sleep Medicine. J M Shneerson (Pp 248; £49.50). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Science. 0 632 05135 3
This excellent book, written by one of the pioneers of sleep disordered breathing in the UK, provides a broad coverage of disorders of sleep that is especially relevant for respiratory physicians. The particular strength of this book is that it provides fascinating background information on the physiology and pathophysiology of sleep which ideally complements the chapters on more specific respiratory problems such as obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome and disorders of respiratory drive and mechanics. Respiratory physicians who see patients with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome will invariably get involved in trying to assist those with clear evidence of a sleep disorder but without any apparent common respiratory problems. This book will provide such physicians with a background working knowledge of the differential diagnosis in these circumstances, together with some especially helpful summaries and breakdowns of the investigation and management of abnormal sleep cycles.
The book is also well laid out. I found the layout of the book in twin columns to be physically very accessible, and my only criticism is the frequent use of abbreviations in tables and text which, for the unfamiliar reader, is the only interruption to the flow of ideas in the book. Overall, however, I think this is a highly informative text which I imagine will provide a valuable resource to anyone seeing patients who complain of sleepiness.—JB