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Kim

Cornersville, TN, United States

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  • The Family That Couldn't Sleep: A Medical Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By D.T. Max
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (290)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (106)

    For 200 years, a noble Venetian family has suffered from an inherited disease that strikes their members in middle age, stealing their sleep, eating holes in their brains, and ending their lives in a matter of months. In Papua New Guinea, a primitive tribe is nearly obliterated by a sickness whose chief symptom is uncontrollable laughter. Across Europe, millions of sheep rub their fleeces raw before collapsing. What these strange conditions share is their cause: prions.

    David says: "A great scientific mystery"
    "Fascinating, haunting and sometimes humorous"
    Overall

    There is a family of disorders that eat away the brains of their victims, whether they are humans or livestock. I know, sounds depressing, but the search for the cause of these disorders is utterly fascinating. There are enough personal stories to make it feel a bit like a novel at times, but it is actually a true scientific detective story. There are brilliant and odd scientists, conflicted and disorganized governments, and some deeply sad and touching personal stories. There are also enough ironic and even humorous moments to keep things from ever feeling too heavy. I particularly liked hearing that a researcher had for years kept a flock of infected sheep on the roof of a London hospital. I've been passionate about reading up on these prion diseases for years, and I still found lots in this book that was new to me. I've shared this book with people who were unfamiliar with prions, and they have found it captivating and easy to understand.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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