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The extraordinary true story of a renowned neuroscientist, an expert on mental health disorders, whose brain tumours caused her to lose her mind.

'Oliver Sacks-meets-When Breath Becomes Air ... Barbara Lipska's remarkable story illuminates the many mysteries of our fragile yet resilient brains.' LISA GENOVA, bestselling author of Still Alice and Every Note Played

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.

Reviews

Fascinating and irresistibly page-turning, The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind is an Oliver Sacks-meets-When Breath Becomes Air account of insanity caused by over a dozen brain tumors. Barbara Lipska's remarkable story illuminates the many mysteries of our fragile yet resilient brains and through her harrowing journey of recovery, she shows us that nothing is impossible.

Lisa Genova, bestselling author of Still Alice and Every Note Played

In this fascinating book, a neuroscientist describes the terrifying symptoms she suffered as a result of multiple brain tumours. We learn about how the brain can produce bizarre and bewildering symptoms from the point of view of someone who has personal experience of aspects of the mental illness that she spends her life studying... Completely compelling and powerful, and hard to put down.

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, author of Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain

A spellbinding investigation into the mysteries of the human brain, led by a scientist whose tenacity is as remarkable as her story.

Amanda Ripley, New York Times bestselling author of The Smartest Kids in the World and The Unthinkable

A superb memoir from a highly respected neuroscientist ... [a] remarkable account of sanity lost and regained.

Dr Frank Vertosick, author of When the Air Hits Your Brain: Tales from Neurosurgery

A riveting science story about how brains go bad, interwoven with the remarkable personal story of one brain going spectacularly bad. A total nail-biter.

Lisa Sanders, New York Times bestselling author of Every Patient Tells a Story

An extraordinary chronicle. Barbara Lipska's story is inspiring and painful, but most of all it is a tribute to the human spirit told with the insight of a scientist and the love of a truly compassionate soul. I was hooked from the first page and could not put this down until the final sentence.

Thomas Insel, co-founder and president of Mindstrong Health and former director of the National Institute of Mental Health

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780593078938

    April 16, 2018

    Bantam Press

    208 pages

    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

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  • Hardback

    9780593078921

    April 15, 2018

    Bantam Press

    208 pages

    RRP $39.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781473543591

    April 5, 2018

    Transworld Digital

    208 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
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    • Google Play
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  • Paperback

    9780552174268

    March 5, 2019

    Corgi

    208 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au