The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: A Memoir of Madness and Recovery

Dr Barbara K.Lipska

The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: A Memoir of Madness and Recovery
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The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: A Memoir of Madness and Recovery

Dr Barbara K.Lipska

All we think, feel and dream, how we move, if we move, everything that makes us who we are, comes from the brain. We are the brain. So what happens when the brain fails? What happens when we lose our mind?

In January 2015 renowned neuroscientist Barbara Lipska’s melanoma spread to her brain. It was, in effect, a death sentence. She had surgery, radiation treatments and entered an immunotherapy clinical trial. And then her brain started to play tricks on her. The expert on mental illness - who had spent a career trying to work out how the brain operates and what happens when it fails - experienced what it is like to go mad.

She began to exhibit paranoia and schizophrenia-like symptoms. She became disinhibited, completely unaware of her inappropriate behaviour. She got lost driving home from work, a journey she did every day. She couldn’t remember things that had just happened to her. Small details like what she was having for breakfast became an obsession, but she ignored the fact that she was about to die. And she remembers every moment with absolute clarity.

Weaving the science of the mind and the biology of the brain into her deeply personal story, this is the dramatic account of Dr Lipska’s own brilliant brain gone awry.

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