Robin Bennett's book is a superb introduction to clinical approaches in medical genetics. Centered on the most traditional diagnostic tool in clinical genetics—the family history—she presents a well-balanced discussion of all of its aspects including the many applications for diagnosis of genetic disease. The book is based on extensive personal experience and provides much practical and useful information. But there is much more! The book's contents reflect the most recent genetic developments in all medical specialties, not just pediatric and obstetric aspects. Thus the rapidly expanding knowledge in cancer genetics is covered, as are various genetic considerations about assisted reproduction for women as well as for men (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). There are many helpful tables for a variety of potential genetic problems including hearing loss, mental retardation, dementia, seizures, and many others. A useful general chapter covers classical Mendelian patterns of inheritance as well as the relatively recently discovered mechanisms of genetic transmission such as imprinting and dynamic mutations.
Unlike in many books on medical genetics there is emphasis on the personal and human side of dealing with patients and families at all times. Useful lists cite reference books with critical discussions of their content. Historical and personal vignettes enliven the text.
This volume will be an essential resource for every genetics clinic and will aid medical geneticists and genetic counselors, whether experienced or in training. In addition, this text will be very helpful for both primary care and specialist physicians and allied health professionals, as well as for students of medicine, nursing, midwifery, and genetic counseling who need an up to date reference that emphasizes both the science and art of modern clinical genetics.
I have worked with Robin Bennett side by side in our genetics clinic at the University of Washington Medical Center for 15 years. She is superb in helping patients, families, and her colleagues with a multitude of practical, logistical, psycho-
xiii logical, and diagnostic problems. This book demonstrates that she is even better informed with excellent judgment in more areas then I had realized. We can be grateful that her wise counsel and up to date knowledge can now be shared with a wide community of professionals whose patients will greatly benefit from these insights.
Arno G. Motulsky
Departments of Medicine and Genetics
University of Washington
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