timely. The book makes an attempt to explain and instruct on the uses and methodology required to carry out various receptor binding techniques and succeeds admirably. Chapters by experts in the fields cover the practical aspects and most importantly the pitfalls and artefacts that can arise. Thus there is coverage of general receptor binding, identification and models, neuropeptides. localization and assay techniques, the study of ion channels and the use of molecular biological techniques (highly stimulating since it offers the chance to study function at a molecular level) and, at the other end of the spectrum, the use of receptor binding to screen therapeutic agents, The book is lucid and readable and the various contributors have made successful efforts to place the work in context. However. an omission in the section on models of receptors and transmitter action is the lack of coverage of the contribution of single-channel recording techniques to current thoughts on receptor function. The book is then a highly useful and informative laboratory guide and as such will be of interest to many researchers with interests in receptor functions. A.H. Dickenson Department of Pharmacology, University College London, London WC1 E 6 B T ( U. K. ) Textbook of Anaesthesia, edited by G. Smith and A.R. Aitkenhead, stone, Edinburgh. 1985, g19.50.
This book is intended to be a comprehensive. easy to read introduction to anaesthesia, and is aimed at the trainee in the first two years of practice and those preparing for the Primary FFARCS and DA (U.K.) examinations. The contributors are largely drawn from Leicester (U.K.) with additional chapters by other well-known experts. The book is legible and well laid out, but there are substantial differences in the quality of the chapters. One is left with the impression that the editors have been fairly ruthless with ‘local’ contributions and have left the ‘stars’ relatively untouched. The first 15 chapters cover basic sciences and applied physiology and pharmacology. The remaining 26 chapters are devoted to the practical conduct of anaesthesia with an appendix of reference materials. Many of the usual problems inherent in multi-author textbooks are present. There is repetition, which is acceptable. but frequently there is fragmentation of important material, which is not. For example, the reader is referred to 4 separate parts of the book for advice on difficult intubation; and information on drug interaction is found even more widely. In addition, there are frequent and irritating assumptions of knowledge on the part of the reader which are probably unwise in a textbook for beginners. Readers of this journal may be disappointed in the chapters on postoperative pain and the relief of chronic pain. One cannot help feeling that the over-simplification and omissions in the chapter on the management of postoperative pain stem from constraints of space as much information is presented in a terse fashion, and many useful drugs mentioned in the tables are not to be found in the text. The relief of
chronic pain is also presented in a highly selective fashion and perhaps represents British practice of some years ago rather than current thought. Assessment merits a column, drug therapy 2.5 cohtmns, destructive procedures 9 columns and psychiatric aspects 19 lines! There is much that is good in this book, but the variability of quality makes it difficult to recommend in its present form, and without knowing it’s price it is difficult to judge whether it represents better value than established textbooks. J.E. Charlton Consultant Anaesthetist, Pain R&f Clinic, The Royal Victoria infirmary, Newcastle upon T)/ne (U.K.) Structure and Function of ~e~~~~e~~~~ and Aminergic Neurons, edited by Y. Sano, Y. Ibata and E.A. Zimmerman, Japan Scientific Societies Press, Tokyo and VNU Science Press, Utrecht, 1983, 351 pp., DM155.00. This volume comprises chapters written by a biased selection of authors who attended a symposium in 1981 on ‘Structure and Function of Peptidergic and Aminergic Neurons.’ Although its title suggests that it may be of general interest, it mainly addresses those interested in the hypothalamus. FLowever, even this audience has seen much of this work published elsewhere. The book contains chapters concerned chiefly with the localization of various peptides and amines in the hypothalamus with functional aspects considered in most cases only briefly. The quality of the papers is extremely variable; some are carefully written and iliustrated and others are of low standard with appalfing micrographs. It was published long after the meeting and is already out of date. John C. Parnavelas ~epartmenr of A nat~my, I/‘niversity Co&ege London, London WClE 6BT(U.K.] The Impacted Lower Wisdom Tooth, by A.J. MacGregor, Oxford University Press, London, 1985, 206 pp., E18.00. ft is now 20 years since the last book on the impacted wisdom tooth was produced by Killey and Kay. It was aimed at general practitioners and is still widely read by students. Since that time there has been a marked increase in clinical research: as far as the impacted wisdom tooth is concerned this ranges from various drug trials to the use of the third molar socket as an experimental model for wound healing. This new book, written by an academic and surgeon, aims to demonstrate the wealth of knowledge that can be brought to bear on third molar surgery, and it tries to show where knowledge is deficient and to encourage clinical research. The