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St. John's Riverside Hospital Medical Library

Brain on fire

WL
351
C132
2013

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Brain on fire : my month of madness

Cahalan, Susannah, author.

c2012.

xiv, 266 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.

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One day in 2009, twenty-four-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a strange hospital room, strapped to her bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. A wristband marked her as a "flight risk," and her medical records, chronicling a monthlong hospital stay of which she had no memory at all, showed hallucinations, violence, and dangerous instability. Only weeks earlier, Susannah had been on the threshold of a new, adult life, a healthy, ambitious college grad a few months into her first serious relationship and a promising career as a cub reporter at a major New York newspaper. Who was the stranger who had taken over her body? What was happening to her mind? In this narrative, Susannah tells the astonishing true story of her inexplicable descent into madness and the lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn't happen. A team of doctors would spend a month, and more than a million dollars, trying desperately to pin down a medical explanation for what had gone wrong. Meanwhile, as the days passed and her family, boyfriend, and friends helplessly stood watch by her bed, she began to move inexorably through psychosis into catatonia and, ultimately, toward death. Yet even as this period nearly tore her family apart, it offered an extraordinary testament to their faith in Susannah and their refusal to let her go. Then, neurologist Souhel Najjar joined her team and, with the help of a lucky, ingenious test, saved her life. He recognized the symptoms of a newly discovered autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks the brain, a disease now thought to be tied to both schizophrenia and autism, and perhaps the root of "demonic possessions" throughout history. This story is the powerful account of one woman's struggle to recapture her identity and to rediscover herself among the fragments left behind. Using all her considerable journalistic skills, and building from hospital records and surveillance video, interviews with family and friends, and excerpts from the deeply moving journal her father kept during her illness, Susannah pieces together the story of her "lost month" to write an unforgettable memoir about memory and identity, faith and love.

Available

Medical ReferenceMedical Reference

1 copy available at St. John's Riverside Hospital Medical Library

ISBN:

978-1-45162138-9

ISBN:

978-1-45162138-9 (pbk.)

ISBN:

978-0-606-35669-5 (Turtleback)

ISBN:

978-0-606-35669-5 (Turtleback)

ISBN:

9781451621372

ISBN:

9781451621396 (ebk)

LC Call No:

RC390 .C24 2013

LC Call No:

RC390 .C24 2013

Author:

Cahalan, Susannah, author.

Title:

Brain on fire : my month of madness / Susannah Cahalan.

Edition:

First Simon & Schuster trade paperback edition.

Publisher:

c2012.

Physical:

xiv, 266 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.

ContentType:

text txt rdacontent

MediaType:

unmediated n rdamedia

CarrierType:

volume nc rdacarrier

Notes:

"With a new afterword"--Cover.

BibliogrphyNote:

Includes bibliographical references.

Summary:

One day in 2009, twenty-four-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a strange hospital room, strapped to her bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. A wristband marked her as a "flight risk," and her medical records, chronicling a monthlong hospital stay of which she had no memory at all, showed hallucinations, violence, and dangerous instability. Only weeks earlier, Susannah had been on the threshold of a new, adult life, a healthy, ambitious college grad a few months into her first serious relationship and a promising career as a cub reporter at a major New York newspaper. Who was the stranger who had taken over her body? What was happening to her mind? In this narrative, Susannah tells the astonishing true story of her inexplicable descent into madness and the lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn't happen. A team of doctors would spend a month, and more than a million dollars, trying desperately to pin down a medical explanation for what had gone wrong. Meanwhile, as the days passed and her family, boyfriend, and friends helplessly stood watch by her bed, she began to move inexorably through psychosis into catatonia and, ultimately, toward death. Yet even as this period nearly tore her family apart, it offered an extraordinary testament to their faith in Susannah and their refusal to let her go. Then, neurologist Souhel Najjar joined her team and, with the help of a lucky, ingenious test, saved her life. He recognized the symptoms of a newly discovered autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks the brain, a disease now thought to be tied to both schizophrenia and autism, and perhaps the root of "demonic possessions" throughout history. This story is the powerful account of one woman's struggle to recapture her identity and to rediscover herself among the fragments left behind. Using all her considerable journalistic skills, and building from hospital records and surveillance video, interviews with family and friends, and excerpts from the deeply moving journal her father kept during her illness, Susannah pieces together the story of her "lost month" to write an unforgettable memoir about memory and identity, faith and love.

Subject:

Cahalan, Susannah--Health

Subject:

Cahalan, Susannah--Mental health.

Subject:

Encephalitis--Patients--United States--Biography

Subject:

Autoimmune diseases--Patients--United States--Biography

Subject:

Frontal lobes--Diseases--Patients--United States--Biography

Subject:

Limbic system--Diseases--Patients--United States--Biography

Subject:

Diagnostic errors--United States--Case studies

Subject:

Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis

Subject:

Encephalitis

Subject:

Diagnostic Errors

Subject:

Autobiography as Topic.

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    $b Item number  .C24 2013
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    $b Item number  C132 2013
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    $e Relator term  author.
245 Title 10  $a Title  Brain on fire :
    $b Remainder of title  my month of madness /
    $c Statement of responsibility  Susannah Cahalan.
250 Edition   $a Edition statement  First Simon & Schuster trade paperback edition.
260 PublicationInfo   $c Date of publication, dist, etc  c2012.
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    $b Name of prod./pub./dist./man.  Simon & Schuster,
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500 General Note   $a General note  "With a new afterword"--Cover.
504 BibliogrphyNote   $a Bibliography, etc. note  Includes bibliographical references.
505 ContentsNote 0   $a Formatted contents note  pt. 1. Crazy -- Bedbug blues -- The girl in the black lace bra -- Carota -- The wrestler -- Cold roses -- America's most wanted -- On the road again -- Out-of-body experience -- A touch of madness -- Mixed episodes -- Keppra -- The ruse -- Buddha -- Search and seizure -- pt. 2. The clock -- The Capgras delusion -- Postictal fury -- Multiple personality disorder -- Breaking news -- Big man -- The slope of the line -- Death with interruptions -- A beautiful mess -- Dr. Najjar -- IVIG -- Blue devil fit -- The clock -- Brain biopsy -- Shadowboxer -- Dalmau's disease -- Rhubarb -- The big reveal -- 90 percent -- Homecoming -- California dreamin' -- pt. 3. In search of lost time -- The videotape -- Stuffed animals -- Wild at heart -- Friends -- Within normal limits -- Umbrella -- Chronology -- Infinite jest -- NDMA -- Partial return -- The five Ws -- Grand rounds -- The exorcist -- Survivor's guilt -- Hometown boy makes good -- Ecstatic -- Flight risk? -- Madame X -- The purple lady.
520 Summary   $a Summary, etc. note  One day in 2009, twenty-four-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a strange hospital room, strapped to her bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. A wristband marked her as a "flight risk," and her medical records, chronicling a monthlong hospital stay of which she had no memory at all, showed hallucinations, violence, and dangerous instability. Only weeks earlier, Susannah had been on the threshold of a new, adult life, a healthy, ambitious college grad a few months into her first serious relationship and a promising career as a cub reporter at a major New York newspaper. Who was the stranger who had taken over her body? What was happening to her mind? In this narrative, Susannah tells the astonishing true story of her inexplicable descent into madness and the lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn't happen. A team of doctors would spend a month, and more than a million dollars, trying desperately to pin down a medical explanation for what had gone wrong. Meanwhile, as the days passed and her family, boyfriend, and friends helplessly stood watch by her bed, she began to move inexorably through psychosis into catatonia and, ultimately, toward death. Yet even as this period nearly tore her family apart, it offered an extraordinary testament to their faith in Susannah and their refusal to let her go. Then, neurologist Souhel Najjar joined her team and, with the help of a lucky, ingenious test, saved her life. He recognized the symptoms of a newly discovered autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks the brain, a disease now thought to be tied to both schizophrenia and autism, and perhaps the root of "demonic possessions" throughout history. This story is the powerful account of one woman's struggle to recapture her identity and to rediscover herself among the fragments left behind. Using all her considerable journalistic skills, and building from hospital records and surveillance video, interviews with family and friends, and excerpts from the deeply moving journal her father kept during her illness, Susannah pieces together the story of her "lost month" to write an unforgettable memoir about memory and identity, faith and love.
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600 Subj:Name 10  $a Personal name  Cahalan, Susannah
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650 Subj:Topic $a Topical term  Autoimmune diseases
    $x General subdivision  Patients
    $z Geographic subdivision  United States
    $v Form subdivision  Biography
650 Subj:Topic $a Topical term  Frontal lobes
    $x General subdivision  Diseases
    $x General subdivision  Patients
    $z Geographic subdivision  United States
    $v Form subdivision  Biography
650 Subj:Topic $a Topical term  Limbic system
    $x General subdivision  Diseases
    $x General subdivision  Patients
    $z Geographic subdivision  United States
    $v Form subdivision  Biography
650 Subj:Topic $a Topical term  Diagnostic errors
    $z Geographic subdivision  United States
    $v Form subdivision  Case studies
650 Subj:Topic 12  $a Topical term  Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis
650 Subj:Topic 22  $a Topical term  Encephalitis
650 Subj:Topic 22  $a Topical term  Diagnostic Errors
650 Subj:Topic 22  $a Topical term  Autobiography as Topic.
651 Subj:Geog $a Geographic name  United States.
655 IT:Genre $a Genre/form data or focus term  Autobiography
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852 Holdings   $a Location  SJRHM
    $h Classification part  WL 351 C132 2013
    $p Barcode  16020
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