Infectious Madness: The Surprising Science Of How We Catch Mental Illness

Paperback | October 4, 2016

byHarriet A. Washington

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"Fascinating...A superb book."--Robert Sapolsky, Stanford professor of neuroscience and neurosurgery and author ofWhy Zebras Don't Get Ulcers

What causes mental illness? We've long blamed stress, trauma, and brain-chemistry imbalances. But a new theory is quietly achieving critical mass. In INFECTIOUS MADNESS, award-winning science writer Harriet Washington reveals that schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Alzheimer's, and anorexia also may be caused by bacteria, parasites, or viruses. Weaving together cutting-edge research and case studies, INFECTIOUS MADNESS shows how strep throat can trigger rapid-onset OCD in a formerly healthy teen and how contact with cat litter elevates the risk of schizophrenia. Featuring a new afterword by the author, and rich in science, medical mysteries, cultural nuance, and evidence-based recommendations, INFECTIOUS MADNESS pulls back the curtain on a new paradigm with profound implications for us all.

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"Fascinating...A superb book."--Robert Sapolsky, Stanford professor of neuroscience and neurosurgery and author ofWhy Zebras Don't Get UlcersWhat causes mental illness? We've long blamed stress, trauma, and brain-chemistry imbalances. But a new theory is quietly achieving critical mass. In INFECTIOUS MADNESS, award-winning science writ...

Harriet A. Washingtonhas been a Research Fellow in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School, Shearing Fellow at the University of Nevada's Black Mountain Institute, and a senior research scholar at the National Center for Bioethics. Ms. Washington has also held fellowships at the Harvard School of Public Health, Stanford University, an...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.88 inPublished:October 4, 2016Publisher:Little, Brown And CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316277819

ISBN - 13:9780316277815

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"In Infectious Madness, Harriet Washington confirms her position as one of our most thought-provoking medical writers. Led by Washington on a whirlwind tour of early modern medicine in the 18th century, germ theory, Western anorexia, African sleeping sickness, schizophrenia, and everywhere else, we will forever be unable to think of our microbial environment in the same way. The same, for that matter, might be said of our view of the social environment in which the collective enterprise of medicine transpires."-Samuel Roberts, PhD, Director, Columbia University Institute for Research in African-American Studies, and Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health