Infectious Madness

Infectious Madness

The Surprising Science of How We "catch" Mental Illness

Book - 2015
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"Is it possible to catch autism or OCD the same way we catch the flu? Can a child's contact with cat litter lead to schizophrenia? In her eye-opening new book, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author Harriet Washington reveals that we can in fact "catch" mental illness. In Infectious Madness, Washington presents the new germ theory, which posits not only that many instances of Alzheimer's, OCD, and schizophrenia are caused by viruses, prions, and bacteria, but also that with antibiotics, vaccinations, and other strategies, these cases can be easily prevented or treated. Packed with cutting-edge research and tantalizing mysteries, Infectious Madness is rich in science, characters, and practical advice on how to protect yourself and your children from exposure to infectious threats that could sabotage your mental and physical health"-- provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316277808
0316277800
Branch Call Number: 616.89 WASHINGTON
Characteristics: 292 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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Pasdeproblem
Mar 19, 2016

Fascinating read - complex and at times confusing to the layman but it is much more accessible than an academic scientific journal article. We live in an environment of microbes. The author delves into the history of germ theory in modern medicine and more specifically looks at the effects of pathogens and immune responses on mental health. Can we catch schizophrenia, depression, autism, Alzheimers, etc. from bacteria, parasites or viruses?
Well, until 1994 doctors believed that ulcers came from stress. Turns out H.pilori was the culprit.

w
writermala
Mar 03, 2016

This is a heavy book. I was attracted by the title and thought it might be easy reading. Well it was not. It turns out this book was part of the author's Master's thesis. It was, therefore, a scholarly work. I learned a lot from this book and in particular a lot about the mind body connection. Would I recommend this book? If you are fascinated by medicine and treatment methodology this book is for you. Otherwise? Hmm...

s
StarGladiator
Aug 08, 2015

Truly a tour-de-force which further expands on articles which have appeared on evolutionary biology, fully elaborating the parasitic strategies to the max! Certainly broadened my knowledge of the possibilities, and variables extant regarding mental illness and its biological origins! Really, really fascinating. Cat themed wines??? Read this and learn. . . .
[IMHO, the Publishers Weekly critique was a bit too hysterical in tone!]

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