This book is not for casual reading, and its contents will interest only a limited audience. However, Dr. Van Harreveld's monograph is an excellent review of current information in an important and controversial field to which the author has made major contributions. The text reflects his knowledge and experience.
The introduction succinctly states the problem posed by conflicting data covering the distribution of water and electrolytes within the central nervous system. Sodium and chloride measurements suggest that neural tissues contain an extracellular space of 30% to 35%, while electron microscopy reveals almost no room between the cellular elements of the brain. Chemical studies employing sulfate, inulin, thiocyanate, and sucrose support the latter view.
Most of this volume consists of a detailed and thoughtful analysis of the major chemical, electrical, and ultrastructural procedures pertaining to the above subject. The evidence favoring both sides of the question is carefully presented. Various methods,