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Brodal presents a new edition of ‘The Central Nervous System’

Per Brodal, Professor Emeritus, has issued a new edition of his book ‘The Central Nervous System’, again as sole author. He believes that the book, to be published by Oxford University Press, will also be his last.

The picture shows Per Brodal, Professor Emeritus, with his book ‘The Central Nervous System`

Per Brodal, Professor Emeritus, has issued a new edition of his book ‘The Central Nervous System. Photo: Øystein Horgmo/UiO

The book ‘The Central Nervous System’ has been an important element of Per Brodal’s life, even long before he first published it.

Its authorship has been passed down from father to son, along with an ardent enthusiasm for the nervous system itself.

The book has been in the family for 75 years. Per Brodal himself has reached the age of 71 years. The very first edition was published in 1943, penned by his father Alf Brodal. Per took the baton in 1990, and has since revised the English as well as the Norwegian version of the book several times. 

Now, the former dean of studies is publishing the fifth edition of the book in English through Oxford University Press.

Good reviews 

Like the previous Norwegian and English editions, the latest Norwegian version has enjoyed good reviews:

" This new edition is an impressive piece of work. Per Brodal has written a classic of neuroanatomy, a book to be loved and a work that Norwegian medicine can be proud of having in its own academic language" Lasse Pihlstrøm wrote about the fifth Norwegian edition in the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association.

The book’s popularity is perhaps unsurprising, since it provides Brodal with the opportunity to combine his two main interests: the central nervous system and dissemination.

– I enjoy teaching and meeting young people, and I wish to help them grow and develop as academics and as people. I especially enjoy disseminating knowledge, through the book as well as through my teaching, says Brodal.

The students’ favourite

Year after year, the book has been on the reading list of medical students all over the country. In Denmark it has also been a loyal companion for budding clinicians, and the English edition is used in many parts of the world.

– The objective is to provide the best possible foundation of knowledge about the normal central nervous system to those who will work with this in clinical practice. It is meant for students of medicine, psychology and physiotherapy, but it is used also by a fair number of clinicians.

To ensure that the textbook remains as current as possible he has revised it constantly, and because of the alternations between the Norwegian and English editions this has meant every three years since 1990. Now, however, he feels that he has put the final touch to it:

– Sooner or later you need to stop, and it’s important to stop in time. To be sure, this is not without sadness, since it has been an important part of my life. However, while my capacity for work fades, the field keeps growing, and I doubt whether I will have the strength for the considerable and concentrated effort needed to produce yet another edition.

On the other hand, the neuroanatomist has no plans to stop teaching any time soon.

By Monica Bring Estensen
Published Nov. 7, 2016 1:00 PM - Last modified Nov. 7, 2016 1:01 PM