Friday, July 7, 2017

The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get It Back, by Clark Elliott (author), Arthur Morey (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, June 2015

In 1999, Clark Elliott was a research professor with a rising career in artificial intelligence. Then he was the victim of a rear-end car collision, and his life was transformed overnight.

Simple tasks had become difficult. He sometimes had difficulty remembering his children's names. He sometimes had difficulty walking through doors, or down corridors. He had difficulty making decisions--simple decisions. A sign on a shop door saying "Come in" once held him in place for several minutes, knowing he didn't want to go into that shop, but unable to simply ignore its instruction.

After delivering a lecture to his students, he might be unable to stand up, or unable to identify his car in the parking lot. Sometimes he would be seemingly completely normal, and hten a few minutes later, severely impaired due to the mental and physical effort expended in that "normal" conversation or activity.

The story of the dog that didn't exist is fascinating and funny and scary.

And for eight years, medical professional after medical professional told him he would never get any better, and he had to learn to live with his deficits. Most of them seemed completely uninterested in his detailed description of his symptoms, because they knew there was nothing to be done.

Then he met two brilliant research clinicians, a cognitive psychologist and an optometrist, both of them working on brain plasticity. It's a fascinating story from beginning to end.

Highly recommended.

I bought this audiobook.