Best neurology books for medical students

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Neurology can be both fascinating and frustrating. Having a good neurology book can help reduce the headaches from struggling with neurology.

To find the best options I have gone through dozens of book recommendations from medical universities around the globe after which I have done my own research.

Most of the books have very different structures and layouts. One thing that I noticed was that many books are mainly focused on either neuroanatomy or clinical neurology.

One which covers both in a single book, and that I highly recommend, is Lange clinical neurology and neuroanatomy (link to Amazon). It’s concise, student-friendly, yet comprehensive enough for most neurology courses and rotations.

Continue below to read my full review of the book, as well as explore the other options to find the book that suits you the most. 

Remember that subjects are thought differently between universities. Thus, you should consult your university’s book recommendations. Even so, the books listed here should cover everything required for the average Neurology course.

If you want to know more about the process I used to evaluate these books. You can read my article about evaluating medical textbooks.

Lange clinical neurology and neuroanatomy

This book aims to be a one-stop-shop for neurology for medical students, and end up doing a pretty good job.

At around 330 pages long, it offers a concise approach to explaining the complex relationship between neuroanatomical structure and function and neurologic disease. 

The material is divided into two main sections.

The first section refreshes your clinically relevant neuroanatomy in a clinical context. The various neurological pathways are first presented in a typical manner: axial-slice by axial-slice with a solid or dashed line representing the pathway as it travels superiorly or inferiorly.

This is followed by a discussion of clinical presentations of lesions in the pathway. This provides a solid framework for neurologic localization and differential diagnosis.

The diseases mentioned are then discussed systematically in the second section with a focus on clinical diagnosis and management.

This student-friendly structure is enhanced by the material being written in layman’s terms. Also, the book features numerous full-color illustrations, explanatory tables, and high-resolution MRI and CT radiographs, which are of great help when understanding neuroanatomy.

Overall, this book does an excellent job of providing the appropriate amount of depth for a medical student or non-neurology resident.

If you were to go with a single book, this is my recommendation. To check out its structure and layout and its affordable price point, click this link to head over to Amazon.

Lange clinical neurology

Next, we have an underappreciated book from Lange. For some reason, this book flies under the radar for most medical students. There is no reason why, as it covers both the basic and clinical aspects of neurology in an orderly and understandable manner.

The structure of this book is different from the other books from Lange in that it puts its emphasis on the neurologic examination and history taking as the cornerstone of diagnosis, and treatment.

It does so by having a separate chapter on history taking and its role in diagnostics. This is followed by a symptom-centered presentation for neurological diseases.

This follows a structure starting with history taking, diagnostics, localization of lesions before discussing individual conditions, their treatment, and prognosis

The book also features lots of Illustrations, diagrams, CT and MRI radiographs, and real-life photos among its 450 pages.

I find the clinical approach with history taking at the center to be very helpful. I also like that it has a separate chapter on diagnostics, including indications, contraindications, procedures, analysis, and potential complications.

While great for clinical neurology, this book is not the best when it comes to tackling neuroanatomy, which might explain why it’s not as popular. Also, it is slightly more expensive than several of its peers.

That being said, If you are looking for a clinical take on neurology this is an excellent resource that is definitely worth your consideration. Follow this link to amazon to get a preview of the book and check its current price.

Clinical neuroanatomy made ridiculously simple (Review book)

Coming from the made ridiculously simple series, this book offers a short review on clinical neuroanatomy to the delight of countless medical students worldwide.

In the typical fashion of the books series, the material aims to be presented in a light-hearted manner, which includes mnemonics, humor, and cartoonish illustrations.

In addition, when purchasing the book, you are granted a free digital Download of the Neurologic Localization program from MedMaster’s website which many students find very helpful.

Despite being compressed down to 100 pages, it still covers the most important topics, it even finds some room for case presentations. That being said, it won’t satisfy the detail-hungry students. 

While I’m usually a big fan of the series, I have some issues with the layout on this one. Despite being presented in layman’s terms, the paragraphs are very long which I find counterintuitive when trying to present the material as a digestible review. 

Still, students find it to be an excellent review companion for your neurology course, as well as for USMLE Board Review.

To check it out for yourself, click this link to head over to amazon. Here you will also see its current price and countless positive reviews from fellow students.

Comprehensive review in clinical neurology

This book separates itself from the rest by being a comprehensive multiple-choice book. However, unlike those found in the shorter review books, each question comes with detailed answers and rationales which makes up the bulk of the book.

In total, there are over 1000 questions and answers on over 800 pages. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the format. Also, you need to have a decent reference source on the material in addition to this book to get started. 

While it is an effective and resourceful book for board study for medical students and residents, it’s not the best option for the average medical student, especially if you need a book that will carry you through neuroanatomy.

If you happen to look for a board prep book, and like the question-answer format, this book might be a great fit for you. You can check it out by clicking this link to head over to amazon to get a preview and see its current price.

Blueprints neurology

This neat book comes from the blueprints series and offers a concise, clinical review of neurology over 300 pages. It is organized into 3 parts.

The first part is short and tackles the fundamentals of neurological examination and diagnostics.

This is followed by a structured review of neurology based on symptoms.

The 3rd and final part is a systematic review of individual neurological disorders.  

The book is well organized and the material is supported by summarizing tables, diagrams, real-life radiographs.

In addition, blue key points boxes are scattered throughout the book, summarizing the key points of the neurology being discussed.

It’s not the best resource when it comes to neuroanatomy. And for that reason, it’s not a complete resource in my opinion.

It is however a neat and solid review of clinical neurology which is great for board or USMLE revision.

If this is what you are looking for, you should definitely give this book try. You can check it out yourself by clicking this link to head over to amazon. Here you can get a preview of the book and check out its current price.

Practical neurology

Practical neurology is a comprehensive, full-sized textbook on clinical neurology. It has organized its material of over 800 pages into 2 sections.

The first section concerns diagnostics. Here, all chapters are titled approach to the patient with (given neurological disorder), which is followed by a structured presentation of the condition in question which includes epidemiology, risk factors, diagnosis.

The second section concerns the treatment of the various conditions discussed in the first section. These chapters mainly deal with the pathophysiology of the condition, but may also include discussions on the anatomical site of the lesion.

Personally, I don’t like when the books break down a condition into separate sections of the book. The biggest reason is that it creates an overlap, and this book is no different.

Also, I don’t find the layout very reader-friendly, and there is a general lack of diagrams, tables, and illustrations.

In terms of the material, it’s a good book, but when considering the structure, layout, and price, I think there are better options out there. If you still want to check it out, you can find it on amazon by clicking this link.

BRS Neuroanatomy (Review book)

So far, none of the review books have had a great emphasis on neuroanatomy, luckily, the BRS series has a book dedicated to it.

Following the powerful BRS format, this book highlights the most tested topics on neuroanatomy for the USMLE Step 1.

While short and concise, it does include plenty of clinical correlation boxes, radiographs, full-color illustrations, and over 575 USMLE-style questions to enhance student yield.

While this book is neuroanatomy yield on steroids, it won’t serve you as well for your neurology rotation.

Given that the Lange book covers both clinical neurology and neuroanatomy this book becomes a tougher sell.

That being said, if neuroanatomy prep is what you need, this is the book for you. You can click this link to head over to amazon. Here you can check out the powerful format and get a preview of the USMLE style questions.

Bradley’s Neurology in clinical practice

I include this book out of courtesy. It is the most complete resource on neurology every neurologist should own, but not every medical student. 

In terms of the material and its presentation, it’s great, however, it is a 2 volume set with over 2000 pages that weigh over 15 pounds. To add to that, the price you have to pay for this one will get you 3-4 other medical textbooks.

Needless to say, this one is too much for the average medical student.

If you are a neurologist or happen to know that you want to become one, you might want to check it out. Follow this link to amazon to get a preview and check its current price.

Closing remarks

I hope this article helped you on your quest for finding the Neurology book(s) that are right for you.

If you found this article helpful, please let me and others know by sharing this article. Also, if you have any other suggestions, comments, or inquiries, you can contact me through the email provided on my about page.