16. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

By Susanna Cahalan

Rating:  4 of 5

Another book suggested by my friend, Tiffany

This is the fascinating story of a young woman who developed mysterious neurological symptoms and the efforts to diagnose what was wrong with her.

Along the way, the book explains some of the amazing things about how the brain works and what kinds of things make it stop working correctly.

An alarming majority of autoimmune diseases – around75 percent – occur in women, affecting  us more than all types of cancer combined.  Autoimmune diseases are most likely the number one cause of disability in women of all ages.  There are multiple theories about why women are so disproportionally affected, ranging from genetic, to environmental, to hormonal (most women are of childbearing age when they are diagnosed), to the fact that women’s immune systems are more complicated (they need to identify and safeguard fetuses, which are half-foreign entities, during pregnancy), and with everything more complex, malfunctions are all the more severe.


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