Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 January 2010
Neonatal–perinatal medicine emerged as a subspecialty in the 1960s, and the first certification examination by the American Board of Pediatrics took place in 1975. Prior to the application of intensive care, neonatal–perinatal medicine could be characterized as being anecdotally based, with benign neglect and a series of disastrous interventions. Great progress has been made, and evidence-based medicine is now the order of the day. The data base has expanded exponentially and we stand on the threshold of seminal therapeutic breakthroughs. The impossible is being made possible, and we anticipate that the ability to repair organs such as the brain and spinal cord will soon be part of our armamentarium.
There has been a dizzying proliferation of scientific knowledge related to the brain that has been incorporated into the fourth edition of Fetal and Neonatal Brain Injury. Whereas there is a general awareness that by the time a textbook is published it typically trails current knowledge, the editors have made every effort to remedy this. The fourth edition includes new authors or topic headings for 21 of the 50 chapters, and the text is as near to current as is humanly possible.
Simplifying neuroscience for non-neurologists is a daunting task. Yet somehow, through their choice of contributors, the editors have successfully assembled a book that is comprehensive, up to date, understandable, and interesting to read. The sections have been somewhat rearranged but they follow a logical sequence and new chapters and contributors blend seamlessly with those that have been updated.