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Not an everyday guide for everyday families--but knowledgeable, thorough, unsparing coverage of the physical, emotional, and social aspects of epilepsy, and fine as background reading. Lechtenberg is Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology at Downstate Medical Center, New York, and Director of the Downstate Therapy Program for Families of Epileptic Individuals. He begins with a careful description of the many forms of epilepsy (the grand mal seizure is only one), and then forges on to examine the difficulties of living with the disease. In the case of adult epileptics, these difficulties may embrace social adjustments, marital problems, and sexual behavior. (In rare instances, epilepsy affects the part of the brain controlling sexual behavior, causing dysfunction or socially unacceptable actions such as exhibitionism.) In the case of children, both physical and family matters come under consideration. Lechtenberg then pays specific attention to ""Personality Changes and Violence"" brought about--again, only rarely--by epilepsy or the injury/illness that caused the epilepsy. Finally, medical study and treatment of the disease is explained in detail. This is an exhaustive, problem-oriented work, beyond the needs of the average person with epilepsy, and frequently written in terms that would defeat the ordinary reader. But it is franker than the select family guides (Sands & Minters, The Epilepsy Fact Book; Middleton, Epilepsy: Everything You Need to Know), as well as fuller. For involved professionals, or in dire circumstances, it could be a welcome resource.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1984
Publisher: Harvard Univ. Press