Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind (Lipska) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
Barbara Lipska is the director of the Human Brain Collection Core at the National Institute of Mental Health in Virginia. Over the course of two months in 2015, she found herself on the strangest journey of her life. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma that had metastasized to her brain, a seemingly terminal condition that mimicked the symptoms of dementia and schizophrenia. Remarkably, her immunotherapy regimen was successful; equally remarkable, she has recreated that period of mental illness and cognitive trauma on the pages of this unusual memoir.
Toronto Globe & Mail


It’s not often a research scientist, especially one who studies mental illness and the brain, experiences their specialty first hand, and it’s even more rare with this sort of mental break, medical or behavioral. If you enjoyed My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor or Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan, this is the memoir you want to read in 2018.
KXSU Seattle


Lipska’s evolution as scientist, patient, and person explores the physiological basis of mental illness, while uplifting the importance of personal identity…. Lipska’s prose soars when narrating her experiences… her story is evidence that rich personal narratives offer value to an empirical pursuit of neuroscientific investigation.
Science Magazine


This is the story, harrowing yet redemptive, of Barbara Lipska, stricken at 63 with a form of brain cancer. The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind, cowritten with Elaine McArdle, is the tale she lived to tell...If Lipska’s book is about "what it’s actually like to lose your mind and then recover it," it’s also about a new frontier in cancer care and the vertiginous trajectories for recovery being opened up...Imbued with scientific insight.… Pondering the term "survivor," Lipska finds the dictionary definition—someone who perseveres and "remains functional and usable"—resonant. Her mind and body battered, she wonders if she meets this standard. If this memoir is any guide, she more than measures up to it.
Weekly Standard


Lipska shares excruciating details of the drug therapies and other treatments she underwent…. Her exhilarating memoir reveals the frustrations of slow recovery, and that even with the best medical care there are no guarantees for good health.
Publishers Weekly


Most patients with similar brain cancers rarely survive to describe their ordeal. Lipska's memoir, coauthored with journalist McArdle, shows that strength and courage but also a encouraging support network are vital to recovery. —Lucille M. Boone, San Jose P.L., CA
Library Journal


Lipska knew a thing or two about mental illness. But she knew considerably more after she exhibited signs of the disease and came back from the brink with amazing insights.… Her story conveys deep understanding about the brain and how disease…can change our very selves.
Booklist


A vibrant mental health expert's bout with brain cancer and the revolutionary treatments that saved her life.… A harrowing, intimately candid survivor's journey through the minefields of cancer treatment.
Kirkus Reviews

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