By Michael Paul Mason.
Full Text :COPYRIGHT 2008 American Library Association
Tulsa-based brain-injury case manager Mason presents the stories of a dozen clients who have suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) with startling candor not just about how their lives and those of their families were altered by the disability but about the scant assistance available on a national scale for TBI victims. The book’s publicity claims readers will come away “astonished at the fragility of the brain.” But who doesn’t already know that? On the other hand, many don’t know that TBI can be caused from either without (an auto accident, a fall) or within (a tumor or even a common virus that many endure with minor symptoms yet that can travel to the brain), changing a life literally in an instant. Additionally, most don’t know how to differentiate between behaviors caused by TBI and those caused by psychosis. Cast against a backdrop of slim resources crying for more aid, the stories are heartbreakingly stark, like so many slaps upside the head, but, coming from a man who too often must deliver bad news, hard to counterpunch.–Donna Chavez
Named Works: Head Cases: Stories of Brain Injury and Its Aftermath (Book) Book reviews
Source Citation:Chavez, Donna. “Head Cases: Stories of Brain Injury and Its Aftermath.(Brief article)(Book review).” Booklist 104.16 (April 15, 2008): 14(1). General Reference Center Gold. Gale. Arvin A Brown Public. 30 May 2008
By Sue Halpern.
May 2008. 288p. Harmony, $24 (9780307406743). 616.85.
Halpern, author of Four Wings and a Prayer (2001), tackles memory, the most elusive of subjects, in her return to nonfiction after her powerful debut novel, The Book of Hard Things (2003). Goaded by the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and the seemingly inevitable equation–more years lived, more memory lost–Halpern puts herself on the line in this energetic inquiry into cutting-edge neurological research. As a test subject, she undergoes brain scans, including one that turns her radioactive; takes batteries of cognitive tests; visits the labs of leading neuroscientists; and tracks drug-development efforts. Halpern is rigorous in her explanations of the workings of the hippocampus, and impish in her critique of corporate-funded research (why is Mars, the maker of M & Ms, interested in neuroscience?). She incisively contrasts popular claims for the memory-boosting qualities of ginkgo biloba, blueberries, crossword puzzles, ballroom dancing, and chocolate with the painstaking work of scientists attempting to decode neurotransmitters and determine the genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s. Evincing a gift for perfect analogies and supple metaphors, mischievous humor, and righteous skepticism, Halpern is an exceptionally companionable and enlightening guide through the maze of memory maladies and the promising search for remedies.–Donna Seaman
Named Works: Can’t Remember What I Forgot: The Good News from the Front Lines of Memory Research (Book) Book reviews
Source Citation:Seaman, Donna. “Can’t Remember What I Forgot: The Good News from the Front Lines of Memory Research.(Brief article)(Book review).” Booklist 104.16 (April 15, 2008): 15(1). General OneFile. Gale. Arvin A Brown Public. 26 May 2008
Gale Document Number:A178631145