Shattered Nerves: How Science Is Solving Modern Medicine's Most Perplexing Problem

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9780801885143: Shattered Nerves: How Science Is Solving Modern Medicine's Most Perplexing Problem
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Once the stuff of science fiction, neural prosthetics are now a reality. Research and technology are creating implants that enable the deaf to hear, the blind to see, and the paralyzed to move.

Shattered Nerves takes us on a journey into a new medical frontier, where sophisticated, state-of-the-art medical devices repair and restore failed sensory and motor systems. In a compelling narrative that reveals the intimate relationship between technology and the physicians, scientists, and patients who bring it to life, Victor D. Chase explores groundbreaking developments in neural technology.

Through personal interviews and extensive research, Chase introduces us to the people and devices that are restoring shattered lives, from implants that enable the paralyzed to stand, walk, feed, and groom themselves, to those that restore bladder and bowel control, and even sexual function. Signals from the brains of paralyzed people are captured and transformed to allow them to operate computers. Brain implants hold the potential to resolve psychiatric illnesses and to restore the ability to form memories in damaged brains.

This timely and important book also explores troubling boundaries between restoration and enhancement, where implants could conceivably endow the able-bodied with superhuman capabilities. Chase concludes this fascinating book with a provocative question: Just because we can, does that mean we should?

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About the Author:

Victor D. Chase is a science and technology writer who has written for a variety of publications, including Air & Space, IBM’s Think Research, MIT’s Technology Review, Nature Medicine, Popular Science, Science Digest, National Forum, R&D Magazine, Mechanical Engineering, and Environmental Health Perspectives.

Review:

Devices that simulate, replace, or bypass nerves have the potential to help those disabled with nervous system and sensory disorders. Science and technology journalist Chase explores the world of these up-and-coming technologies.

(Library Journal)

Victor Chase has looked into the future of broken nervous systems and how we might fix them―with all of the corresponding hopes and perils. It is a fascinating book, both stimulating and exciting, and makes you think about what it means to be human.

(Michael S. Gazzaniga, author of The Ethical Brain and member of the President's Council on Bioethics)

A marvelous synthesis of new ideas.

(V. S. Ramachandran, M.D., author of Phantoms in the Brain)

[A] calm, competent, contemporary account of the development of devices to repair nervous systems responsible for the senses, movement and other functions.

(New Scientist)

Chase achieves his formidable aim, enabling the reader to make connections between scientific endeavor and its application to the lives of the vivid individuals to whom he introduces us.

(Cerebrum)

Comprehensive and easily readable... Shattered Nerves weaves a history of how a field evolves.

(Nature Medicine)

Best of 2006

(Library Journal)

This is dramatic stuff... The book is a valuable introduction to an important subject.

(SciAmMind)

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of neural prosthetic research, this book will attract graduate students and professionals in medicine, engineering, chemistry, computer research. Perhaps those who could benefit the most from reading it, however, are bright undergraduates; the researchers' stories, and the discussion of the impact they have had on their research subjects' lives, may help college students in search of career direction.

(Choice)

Victor Chase eloquently discusses the 'human machine' and how the harmful effects of faulty wiring and misfiring electrics can be reversed by modern technology

(Lancet)

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