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Book Review: The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind by Barbara K. Lipska

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
the-neuroscientist-who-lost-her-mind-barbara-lipska Imagine spending your life studying the brain and mental illnesses like schizophrenia, only to find yourself start exhibiting the same symptoms.

This is what happened to Neuroscientist Barbara Lipska in this powerful memoir, The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind.

Lipska describes her life before any symptoms. She was/is highly functioning in all areas of her life. In her career she managed/manages a foundation and a brain bank.

In her personal life she has a loving husband, children and grandchildren. The family are into fitness and Lipska describes being physically fit and always pushing herself, to run further, to go faster.

Suddenly one day Lipska is on a run, a regular route she’s done thousands of times before, but she can’t remember where she lives.

This is just the start of the sometimes bizarre, sometimes difficult and sometimes downright scary symptoms. Lipska goes to the hospital, family in tow and is diagnosed with a brain tumor.

As the tumor is being treated Lipska’s symptoms worsen. She becomes abrupt and emotionally hurtful to her family. It is a strange thing. Looking back now, Lipska can understand how some of the awful things she said would have hurt her family and how she now knows that they were hurt by their reaction. Yet she can still remember how she felt and what she was thinking at the time. I think it would be fair to say Lipska losing her empathy was probably one of the most challenging symptoms for her.

Lipska describes her journey through the American healthcare system and how she managed to get enrolled into a clinical trial programme, after checking that her insurance would cover the costs, that probably saved her life. I must admit this part made me feel extremely grateful for the National Health Service (NHS) that we have here in the UK, which is free, paid for through taxation.

The ending is ultimately positive. As Lipska continues to be treated her symptoms start to lessen and eventually disappear. Her cancer goes into remission. Reading The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind made me feel like I’d made a new friend in Lipska. This is because stories, especially personal, intimate and ones involving vulnerability help people form meaningful connections with one another. I will admit that this book made me cry at one point, which is extremely rare and a testament to Lipska’s writing and honesty.

Despite the subject matter, Lipska’s tone is warm, engaging and makes the book a page turning read. I read it in a few settings, never wanting to put it down.

I would highly recommend The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind to anyone that likes memoirs, or stories about dealing with adversity.

Review soon,

Antony

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Did You Know? (Part 4 – Art & Music)

By The WebNo Comments
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Did You Know?

This is the fourth in a series of Did You Know? blog posts. Each blog post will gives fascinating facts on a particular topic. In part 1 the topic was science. In part 2 the topic was history. In part 3 the topic was geography.

Today, I give you ten facts about Music & Art:

1. Vincent van Gogh produced his masterpiece Starry Night while admitted in a mental hospital.

2. Leonardo da Vinci completed the world’s most famous painting Mona Lisa from 1503 or 1504 to 1519. It is thought that Leonardo da Vinci could have been gay. He was 24 years old when he, along with several other men, were charged with sodomy. But the charges were dropped when no witnesses came forward.

3. Michelangelo is most famous for The Sistine Chapel ceiling, which it took him around 4 years to complete. But he was also a wordsmith. He created several hundred sonnets and madrigals in his lifetime.

4. Picasso was perhaps the most prolific creator of all time. During his 91 years of life he created: 13,500 paintings, 100,000 prints, 34,000 book illustrations and 300 sculptures/ceramics.

5. The top three best selling singles of all time are White Christmas by Bing Crosby, Candle in the Wind by Sir Elton John and Silent night, holy night by Bing Crosby.

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6. Mozart was a musical genius. He wrote half of his total symphonies between 8 years old and 19 years old. Mozart could listen to a piece of music once and write it down from memory without any mistakes. He died aged 36, successful in the creation of music, but without any money.

7. Beethoven performed for Mozart when he was 17 years old in Vienna. Mozart was notoriously unimpressed by other musicians, but apparently was impressed with Beethoven. No one really knows what happened at that meeting, but the myth says that Mozart left the room stating: “Keep your eyes on him—someday he’ll give the world something to talk about.”

8. Around 26 years old Beethoven began losing his hearing. He tried to keep the fact that he was loosing his hearing a secret. He was totally deaf by 44 years old. Beethoven used his memory of sound and imagination of how music could sound to continue producing music after becoming totally deaf.

9. Classical music helps plants grow faster, according to a 2007 study.

10. Art and music, along with eating and sex all increase serotonin (the happiness chemical) and dopamine (the motivation chemical) in the brain.

Write soon,

Antony

References
Degreed – Top 10 Facts About Vincent van Gogh
MostToday – 10 Most Famous Paintings In The World
Live Science – 5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Leonardo da Vinci
Italian Renaissance – Michelangelo’s Painting of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling
History Stories – 9 Things You May Not Know About Michelangelo
Biography – Pablo Picasso
Picasso Mio – Picasso – How many artworks did Picasso create in his life time?
Express – TOP 20 best selling singles of all time
FactRetriever – 69 Interesting Facts about Mozart
Mental Floss – 19 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Beethoven
Classic FM – So if Beethoven was completely deaf, how did he compose?
Knowable – 27 Rarely Known Facts About Music And The Music Industry.

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The Biology of Addiction

By Education, The Web, ThinkingNo Comments

Although this video is about porn addiction; it explains the aetiology of all addictions:

Click here to display content from www.youtube.com

Whether it be: porn, sex, drugs, alcohol, cigs, food, exercise, violence, etc. the mechanism in the brain – the neurological reward pathway operates in the same way.

Just thought it might be of interest. They reckon about 10% of people experience addiction at some point in their lives. I myself have an addiction to nicotine – something I need to work on. Have a watch, go on, I’ll wait.

What’s interesting to me, is the transformation people undertake. They have to identify their addiction and make the choice to deal with it. This transformation process is a difficult one; with the individual having to work on deep rooted issues. And most people don’t get it right the first time; but when they finally do it’s an incredible sight to behold. It gives me real hope in the strength of the human spirit.

Blog soon,

Antony

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I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:


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Listening to my Heart through Meditation

By Paganism, ThinkingNo Comments

In the past I always followed my heart, trusting it to take me where I needed to go. But I have recently discovered that my brain and heart have been acting completely separate of one another.

It’s weird that two parts of myself can be operating completely separately and with no communication, but perhaps it was essential, so that my heart could take some time-out to deal with the emotional trauma I have experienced in the last twelve months (see Grief, My Darling Baby Brother & The Annual Christmas Card Letter). Meanwhile my brain stepped in and took over the task of day-to-day living.

When I was following my heart I was living, whereas from the point when my brain stepped in I’ve been existing. I want to follow my heart again and live, so how to do it? How to reconnect my brain and heart – like it used to be?

Well I’ve started to mediate. I clear my brain of all the tasks of day-to-day living, quietening my mind. Then focus on one thought – my heart and what it’s saying. It’s difficult but I’m starting to hear what my heart is saying and starting to feel at an emotional level like I used too. First listen to my heart, then learn to respond to what it says.

Write soon,

Antony



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