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About the book
  • Published: 5 April 2018
  • ISBN: 9781473546769
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

Brainstorm

Detective Stories From the World of Neurology




The brain is the most complex structure in the universe. Accompany one of the UK’s top neurologists as she tries to puzzle out some of the most eye-opening symptoms medicine has to offer

'I loved it. She is in my view the best science writer around - a true descendant of Oliver Sacks' Sathnam Sanghera, author of The Boy with the Topknot
The brain is the most complex structure in the universe.

In Brainstorm the Wellcome Prize-winning author of It’s All in Your Head uncovers the most eye-opening symptoms medicine has to offer.
‘Powerfully life-affirming... Brainstorm is testament to O'Sullivan's unshowy clarity of thought and her continued marvelling at the mysteries of the brain’ Guardian

Brainstorm examines the stories of people whose symptoms are so strange even their doctor struggles to know how to solve them. A man who sees cartoon characters running across the room; a teenager who one day arrives home with inexplicably torn clothes; a girl whose world turns all Alice in Wonderland; another who transforms into a ragdoll whenever she even thinks about moving.


The brain is the most complex structure in the universe, and neurologists must puzzle out life-changing diagnoses from the tiniest of clues – it’s the ultimate in medical detective work. In this riveting book, one of the UK’s leading neurologists takes you with her as she follows the trail of her patients’ symptoms: feelings of déjà vu lead us to a damaged hippocampus; spitting and fidgeting to the right temporal lobe; fear of movement to a brain tumour; a missed heart beat to the limbic system.
It’s a journey that will open your eyes to the unfathomable intricacies of the brain, and the infinite variety of human capacity and experience.

  • Pub date: 5 April 2018
  • ISBN: 9781473546769
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

About the Author

Suzanne O'Sullivan

Dr Suzanne O’Sullivan has been a consultant in neurology since 2004, first working at The Royal London Hospital and now as a consultant in clinical neurophysiology and neurology at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, and for a specialist unit based at the Epilepsy Society. She specialises in the investigation of complex epilepsy and also has an active interest in psychogenic disorders. Suzanne’s book about psychosomatic illness, It's All in Your Head, won both the Wellcome Book Prize and the Royal Society of Biology Book Prize.

Also by Suzanne O'Sullivan

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Praise for Brainstorm

“Powerfully life-affirming... Brainstorm is testament to O'Sullivan's unshowy clarity of thought and her continued marvelling at the mysteries of the brain”

Colin Grant, Guardian

“A fascinating attempt to draw the lay reader into understanding more about the function and malfunction of the brain by using real-life stories... O'Sullivan is a good, clear writer, lacks pomposity and avoids cliché -- her first book, It's All in Your Head, won the Wellcome Prize”

David Aaronovitch, The Times

“O'Sullivan writes beautifully and is full of wonder... a pleasure”

John Preston, Mail on Sunday

“A tremendously interesting work of medical humanity... The main effect of this fascinating collection of clinical stories, by the end, is to make any reader without brain dysfunction exceedingly grateful for the fragile miracle going in inside their own skull every second”

Steven Poole, Daily Telegraph

“I loved it. She is in my view the best science writer around - a true descendant of Oliver Sacks”

Sathnam Sanghera, author of The Boy with the Topknot

“Eye-opening...her case histories alert us to the endless variety of human experience”

Nick Rennison, Sunday Times

“Engaging and diverse... Brainstorm isn't just a good read. It's full of interesting science, clearly described... In a literary scene now overrun with books by doctors, many of them bald exercises in self-aggrandisement, this one stands out. Brainstorm is an engrossing book written by a doctor whose primary interest is in her patients”

Gabriel Weston, Lancet

“Full of fascinating insights... As one would expect from a neurologist in the Oliver Sacks tradition, O'Sullivan is a sure guide to these maverick brains”

Mark Honigsbaum, Observer

“Brainstorm is an engaging collection of neurological case stories interwoven with lucid scientific asides. It offers keen insights into the disturbing and fascinating condition of epilepsy, and thereby the ever-elusive workings of the brain. It will undoubtedly appeal to clinicians and students across a range of disciplines but deserves a much wider readership”

Paul Broks

“Tender, moving and fascinating… This is a book about neurology, and how the function of our brains affects everything. But it is much more than that. Suzanne O’Sullivan’s real detective work is found in the gaps and spaces between doctor and patient, where she gets to the heart of who we are”

Christie Watson, author of The Language of Kindness

“[T]he story that unfolds is incredibly real and insightful, but also funny and clever.”

Good Housekeeping

“O’Sullivan writes beautifully and is full of wonder”

John Preston, Mail on Sunday

“O’Sullivan’s humanity and humility whisper gently from every page...her patients are very lucky to have her”

Prospect

“Thought-provoking… This book is more than just a narrative of doctor-patient meetings; it acts to highlight the disparity between our understanding of neurological disorders and diseases of other organs… Brainstorm provides an interesting personal insight from the view of a physician and is a must-read for anyone affected by epilepsy or with an interest in neurology and medicine”

Matthew Lewis, The Biochemist

“A beautifully humane account…[O’Sullvian’s] procedure is a mixture of medical detective work and literary analysis”

Steven Poole, Guardian, **Books of the Year**

“An exploration into the most complex structure in the universe, the human brain. The stories, and the bafflement, were equally engaging... Like all the best forms of non-fiction, O’Sullivan is caring towards her subjects while tough upon herself and her fellow colleagues”

Stuart Kelly, Scotsman, **Books of the Year**

“[Brainstorm] reads as a story of the brain, and an introduction to the most daunting of organs. It is engaging and thoughtful… Dr O’Sullivan’s humane treatment of Epilepsy as a subject and of those affected by it or involved with it…was genuinely mind-broadening”

Mariam Shahid and Athea Ashley, ACNR


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