Eve LaPlante Seized

ISBN 13: 9780595094318

Seized

4.03 avg rating
( 86 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780595094318: Seized

"Fascinating account of medical research...LaPlante shows how a brain scar may cause bizarre aggressive or sexual behavior-and works of profound creative imagination."

-Howard Gardner

"Readers intrigued by Oliver Sacks' Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat will welcome LaPlante's book...Thoughtful...Highly recommended."

-Library Journal

"LaPlante's descriptions of the human brain are wonderfully concrete, and her empathy for epilepsy's victims is clear."

-Kirkus Review

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About the Author:

Eve LaPlante is the author of three ancestor biographies: Marmee & Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother (Free Press, 2012), Salem Witch Judge (about the early abolitionist and feminist Samuel Sewall), and American Jezebel (about the colonial leader Anne Hutchinson). The editor of the first compilation of Abigail May Alcott's private papers, My Heart Is Boundless (Free Press, 2012), LaPlante has also written for The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, Ladies' Home Journal, Working Woman, Parents, and Country Living. She has degrees from Princeton and Harvard, and lives in New England with her family.

From Kirkus Reviews:

What did Moses, Van Gogh, Lewis Carroll, and Dostoyevsky have in common? Quite possibly temporal lobe epilepsy, according to this fascinating report by freelance writer LaPlante (The Atlantic, Yankee, etc.). Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common form of epilepsy among adults. Its seizures bring hallucinations, dreamy states, bizarre feelings, and involuntary actions resembling the symptoms of psychiatric disease, and the personalities of its sufferers are frequently marked by an intense interest in religion and morality, a compulsion to write or draw, altered sexuality, aggression, and hypersociability. LaPlante traces the history of the disorder from its early definition by a 19th- century English neurologist to present-day efforts to understand and treat it with drugs and/or surgery. She chronicles its effects on three pseudonymous patients: Charlie, a lawyer whose first seizure occurred when he was in his 50s; Jill, a personnel director in her 30s whose life has been drastically affected by the onset of TLE; and Gloria, a middle-aged woman who's suffered from TLE all her life and had been treated for a myriad of psychiatric disorders prior to the diagnosis of TLE at age 37. What makes TLE especially intriguing are the clues it offers to biological bases of creativity, spirituality, and--on a less positive note--violence. Moreover, because TLE crosses the boundaries between psychiatry and neurology, research on it holds promise for a better understanding of the physiological causes of mental illness. LaPlante's descriptions of the human brain are wonderfully concrete, her historical research is well presented, and her empathy for TLE's victims is clear. A well-done study. (Line drawings--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Eve LaPlante
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