Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

For today I’ve turned to the SCRLreads blog to see what my co-workers have enjoyed.  Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan spent many weeks on the bestseller lists recently, and is a fascinating read.  Brain on fire is a harrowing journey into a month long disease induced madness that plagued the author.  Her condition is a fascinating medical mystery.

One day Susannah starts to feel "off".  A tingle and numbness start on the left side of her body.  Soon she starts acting erratic and begins hallucinating, becoming paranoid and delusional.  She begins to have seizures.  This is when her family realizes there is something horribly wrong with her.  After several misdiagnoses from schizophrenia to alcohol withdrawal to bipolar disorder she is examined by Dr. Souhel Najjar at NYU.  He diagnoses her with a rare autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the brain.  He begins treatment immediately.  In other circumstances, the author could have been written off as having had a psychotic breakdown and committed to an institution.  If left untreated, she would almost certainly have died.

Susannah Cahalan is a journalist and she has written a remarkable book. 

See what other books the library staff members have enjoyed by going to the SCRLreads blog on the website.

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