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Publisher's Summary

In January 2015, Barbara Lipska - a leading expert on the neuroscience of mental illness - was diagnosed with melanoma that had spread to her brain. Within months, her frontal lobe, the seat of cognition, began shutting down. She descended into madness, exhibiting dementia- and schizophrenia-like symptoms that terrified her family and coworkers. But miraculously, just as her doctors figured out what was happening, the immunotherapy they had prescribed began to work. Just eight weeks after her nightmare began, Lipska returned to normal. With one difference: she remembered her brush with madness with exquisite clarity.
In The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind, Lipska describes her extraordinary ordeal and its lessons about the mind and brain. She explains how mental illness, brain injury, and age can change our behavior, personality, cognition, and memory. She tells what it is like to experience these changes firsthand. And she reveals what parts of us remain, even when so much else is gone.
©2018 Barbara K. Lipska and Elaine McArdle (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Terrie L. Pickard on 05-07-18

An Inspiring Story, But Nothing New

I would like to prelude my review by saying that I was happy Dr. Lipska was able to survive the melanoma, keep the career that she loves, and still participate in athletic competitions.

This being said, I felt that her comments on her experiences were incomplete and did not reveal anything that others haven't said before. For an example, she claims that her experience has heightened her empathy with other neurodivergent people, but never elaborates with real world examples/interactions.

In fact, she spends the majority of the book talking about her family and exercise hobbies and these eclipse the "madness" almost completely.

The highlight for me was Emma Powell's narration. Her pitch and expressiveness kept me listening even when I lost interest in the content.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Gillian on 04-11-18

Be Prepared To Feel Insane--

After all, Emma Powell narrates this with such brilliance that you will writhe and cringe as Lipska navigates her newly unsound world, her deeply unsound mind and traumatized brain. She seethes, she snipes, she shrieks at times at those who love her and see only that she has become the worst version of herself. They have no idea it's because the part of her brain that controls empathy, controls impulses, has been damaged by tumors.
Lipska is frustrated by sounds that are interpreted as too loud and shrill, an environment which should be familiar has no discernible landmarks she can use, people who don't seem to understand that by God, she has been incredibly wronged by a train running late. She has no idea that one shouldn't urinate on oneself in public, or otherwise; one shouldn't jog miles and miles with the gore of hair dye running down ones face.
The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind gives a vividly drawn, perfectly imaged glimpse into what it's like to be the person with dementia, the person who is schizophrenic. And even, while she's on massive doses of steroids to control the swelling of her brain, the person in the grip of a manic psychotic break.
It's a listen I won't be forgetting any time soon. And a family member with Alzheimer's? I'll be looking at her, treating the crises that arise with such an illness, in a far different manner...

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7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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