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Brain on Fire Audiobook

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

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Publisher's Summary

In 2009, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room strapped to a bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records - from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory - reported psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four-year-old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter.

Susannah’s astonishing memoir chronicles the swift path of her illness and the lucky, last-minute intervention led by one of the few doctors capable of saving her life. Weeks ticked by and Susannah moved inexplicably from violence to catatonia. Over one million dollars worth of blood tests and brain scans revealed nothing. The exhausted doctors were ready to commit her to the psychiatric ward, until the celebrated neurologist, Dr. Souhel Najjar, joined her team. With the use of a simple - yet ingenious - test, he was able to make a lifesaving diagnosis - revealing a newly discovered autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks the brain.

With sharp reporting drawn from hospital records, scientific research, and interviews with doctors and family, Brain on Fire is a crackling mystery and an unflinching, gripping personal story that marks the debut of an extraordinary writer.

©2012 Original material © 2012 Susannah Cahalan. Recorded by arrangement with Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. (P)2012 (p) 2012 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"Engrossing.... Unquestionably, an important book on both a human and a medical level. Cahalan’s elegantly-written memoir of her dramatic descent into madness opens up discussion of the cutting-edge neuroscience behind a disease that may affect thousands of people around the world, and it offers powerful insight into the subjective workings of our minds." (Mehmet Oz, MD, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Surgery, New York Presbyterian-Columbia Medical Center)

"Brain on Fire reads like a scientific thriller, but with a profound and moving philosophy at its heart." (David B. Agus, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Engineering, University of Southern California, and author of The End of Illness)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (2974 )
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  •  
    Janie United States 08-03-15
    Janie United States 08-03-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Fascinating!"
    Any additional comments?

    Not my usual taste but decided to try and so glad I did. Just the right amount of informational vs. story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EKJ Miami Florida 07-26-15
    EKJ Miami Florida 07-26-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Harrowing story"

    Great even for a medical professional. Well told first person account of descent into and recovery from a mysterious devastating neurologic illness.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra 07-25-15
    Debra 07-25-15
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    "Courageous, Personal, and Insightful"

    Although it is difficult enough to go through such a scary and uncertain illness, I can only imagine the difficulty of examining the events leading up to memory loss, and then exploring the events during the memory loss through the eyes of others. When discussing a similar situation of a family member of mine I was asked not to discuss it further when he said, "That was your reality not mine. I wasn't there." So it is with the utmost respect that I congratulate the author on her recovery, her research, and the recounting of her story. It provides important information that can help us all become better advocates for our own health and for health of those we love.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Killough Greenville, SC 07-21-15
    K. Killough Greenville, SC 07-21-15

    TomMom

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    "A Moving and Important Book"

    I found it frustrating that the last two chapters of the audiobook were missing, it never went past chapter 53. But the book itself was fascinating, moving, insightful, intriguing, and overall extremely important for the whole medical community to read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sumaira 07-09-15
    Sumaira 07-09-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Loved this"

    I went through an eerily similar situation myself and hearing her story has been therapeutic for me and monumental as j now mentally heal from everything that's happened. Thank you Susannah

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Sykesville, MD, United States 06-04-15
    Brian Sykesville, MD, United States 06-04-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Brain on Fire is fantastic"

    Great story told with heartfelt and devastating honesty. A must for any reader, but especially for those who love science, the brain, psychology and the human spirit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corina 06-03-15
    Corina 06-03-15 Member Since 2011

    Corina

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    "Amazing story!"

    What a remarkable woman. She has enlightened many with this information and providing support to those of us battling with complex disease processes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angelique 05-27-15
    Angelique 05-27-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Interesting tale of madness"

    5\5
    clever title
    great narration
    great experience
    interesting plot
    one of my favorites from audible

    When I first found this book I read the description and was immediately intrigued.I was looking for a book I could listen to while I was at work and in less than two days I completed this book. It was a treat. I highly recommend it

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    elizabeth uxbridge, MA, United States 05-07-15
    elizabeth uxbridge, MA, United States 05-07-15 Member Since 2014
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    "excellent."

    loved it. really made me think. could not get enough . what an order Suzanne went through. plenty of medical jargon given in a way anyone could understand .

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Esperanza 04-28-15
    Esperanza 04-28-15
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    "Overall, well done"

    I thought this book dragged just a bit, but was overall an enjoyable read. I would recommend it to others.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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