Electroencephalography (EEG) is an essential tool in the work-up of neurological disorders, especially of epilepsy, in which both diagnosis and classification into different syndromes rely heavily on EEG. Yet everyday experience shows the frequency of errors committed by neurologists and electroencephalographers who are not familiar with the specificities of the EEG of children in health and in disease. This underlines the need for information specifically concerned with the peculiarities of the EEG in the pediatric age and for an easily readable and well-illustrated reference.
This book by Warren T. Blume and Masako Kaibara precisely responds to this need. It is a thorough yet simple clinically oriented guide to the interpretation of the EEG during brain maturation and in common neurological diseases of childhood. Because children's EEGs are often misinterpreted, this atlas emphasizes and beautifully illustrates a wide range of normal variants and a number of EEGs that are not found in older persons and thus are frequently considered abnormal by electroencephalographers who work mostly with adults. This atlas also describes and illustrates the pecularities and evolution with age of EEG abnormalities and some of the conditions in which they appear, especially those that are specific to infancy and childhood. For each of these variants or abnormalities, multiple figures are provided, thus enabling the reader to identify the patterns in different contexts. Also, the essential questions raised by the interpretation of the EEG are clearly formulated, adding to the practical usefulness of the book.
One major strength of this text lies in its clinical perspective. The authors always keep in mind that they are writing for practicing child neurologists and electroencephalographers. Their own extensive experience in this field enables them to identify the most delicate and important issues. They remind the reader that the EEG is only one tool—however essential—in the study of children with neurological diseases, and that the EEG has to be integrated with clinical information in order to be meaningful.
The approach of the authors is resolutely practical and clearly directed to practicing doctors and EEG technicians. The authors have limited the size, making the book handy and easy to consult. The practicality is underlined by a final chapter of wise advice about the pecularities of recording the EEG in young children, an experience that will be useful for those who deal mostly with adult patients and find themselves uncomfortable in such circumstances.
This atlas will be a requirement for all electroencephalographers as well as for child neurologists. It will also be of interest to neurologists, pediatricians, and other doctors who wish to understand the clinical use of EEG and its problems.
It gives me great pleasure to introduce the second edition of the Atlas of Adult Electroencephalography.
The first edition of this book was highly acclaimed. For example, in a review for the American Journal of EEG Technology, Dr. Charles E. Henry, the eminent pioneer of EEG, wrote that he had been collecting EEG atlases for more than 50 years and that this atlas was “clearly the best of the lot.” The second edition is a condign successor.
Developing skill in the visual analysis and interpretation of EEGs requires extensive exposure to the myriad of normal patterns, abnormal patterns, and artifacts that can occur and then judging their significance under the tutelage of an expert electroencephalographer. Outstanding features of this atlas are the excellent illustrations of the many diverse variations in EEG patterns together with detailed comments and explanations for each of them. Looking at any page of this atlas gives one the feeling that one is in a live teaching session and looking over the shoulder of a master electroencephalographer. The result is an important contribution to EEG education not only for the beginner but also for the continuing education of the practitioner.
In keeping with the changes in EEG practice and the expanding range of EEG applications, this second edition of the atlas contains welcome additional chapters on digital electroencephalography and on the EEG in the intensive care unit.
In the foreword and preface to the first edition of this book, Dr. Herbert H. Jasper and the authors mentioned that it was intended to complement another book. Clearly, however, this second edition is a monument that can very well stand on its own.
It is my great pleasure to write the foreword for this edition of the Blume's Atlas. I am honored to join my colleagues who have done so for previous editions.
Dr. Warren T. Blume had extensive training in adult and paediatric neurology, with a particular emphasis on clinical neurophysiology. His perspective on EEG phenomena, as is apparent in the Atlas, may be traced back to his early exposure to masters at centers of international excellence: in Montreal, Quebec (Herbert Jasper and Pierre Gloor), in Rochester, Minnesota (Reginald Bickford and Donald Klass) and in Paris, France (Collette Dreyfus-Brisac and Nicole Monod).
The basic tenet of the Atlas has always been to represent the “best possible clinical neuroscience.” The current publication maintains this context through the conservative clinical wisdom that has been distilled from Dr. Blume's life work at the EEG Laboratory and Epilepsy Unit, University of Western Ontario.
This Atlas is not just a timely update that reflects the evolution of digital technology. It also represents a finer elaboration and merging of the Paediatric and Adult Atlases. This single volume now spans EEG from the paediatric to the adult stages. The clinical horizon is expanded even further through the ICU expertise of Dr. Blume's colleague and co-author, Dr. G. Bryan Young.
This Atlas also reflects a focus on technical excellence. The extraction of accurate spatio-temporal and morphological information, embedded in rhythmicity and frequency and while under challenging clinical circumstances, demands astute decision-making. Innovative approaches beyond routine examination are possible only with a keen awareness of technical potentials and limits, and technologists of such caliber can arise only in an environment devoted to technical excellence. This excellence is represented by the two co-authors who are Dr. Blume's technologists.
Sixty years after the trailblazing publication of the EEG Atlas by Gibbs and Gibbs, this new Atlas eloquently reminds us that EEG remains a vital clinical neuro-investigative tool for the new millennium. The Atlas will enhance the quality of teaching and training for a new generation of electroencephalographers, technologists and interested general and paediatric neurologists.
I can well imagine the serious face of Hans Berger, the father of EEG, breaking into a broad smile as he sees where his work has led, through the lens of this new Blume's Atlas.