The 101 Most Unusual Diseases and Disorders

Greenwood. Nov. 2015. 287p. index. ISBN 9781610696753. $89; ebk. ISBN 9781610696760. REF
What the dickens is Pickwickian syndrome? Prolific medical writer Kelly (Alzheimer's Disease) defines this breathing problem, which is related to obesity (so named since a character in Charles Dickens's The Pickwick Papers demonstrates its symptoms), as well as 100 other conditions that the author deems "most unusual" in this new compendium. The book is organized into five sections: genetic disorders, mental health disorders, environmental disorders, infectious diseases, and conditions with other or unexplained origins. For each entry, Kelly discusses the ailment's prevalence (Pickwickian syndrome, for example, is on the rise), diagnosis, and treatment (if any) and provides some case-study sidebars (including Elizabeth Smart for Stockholm syndrome). Each entry features a further reading list, aligning with Kelly's plea to "please remember these diseases are real and affect real people, and should never be taken cavalierly."
VERDICT Kelly presents a solid starter roundup of uncommon conditions.
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