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The Fragile Brain: The strange, hopeful science of dementia
Taylor, Kathleen
Oxford University Press / Hardcover / 2016-12-01 / 0198726082
reg price: $42.00 our price: $ 37.80 (may be subject to change)
358 pages
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Neurodegenerative diseases, such as a stroke, Alzheimer's and dementia, are now tragically commonplace within the western world. Our brains are a strange and complex organ, and there is much to be discovered about what causes them to fail in such devastating ways.

In this book Kathleen Taylor presents the ever-developing research into the cause and cure of these life-changing conditions, focusing on insights arising from the relatively new field of neuroimmunology - the increasing recognition of the important role of the immune system in the brain.

Interweaving the latest scientific ideas on neurodegenerative diseases with accounts of the devastation which illnesses affecting the brain can cause to sufferers and to anyone who cares about them, The Fragile Brain is not only an important account of current research in this field, but a very personal study. As instances of dementia rise in our ageing populations, many harbour anxieties concerning the future.This book is about knowing the enemy.


1. Fragile Brains
Section 1: The Problem
2. Living well and growing old
3. Counting the costs
4. Brain disorders affect all of us
5. Discovering dementia
6. Protein problems
7. Too much amyloid
8. Transfers in?
9. How to clean your brain
Section 2: Risk Factors
10. The risk of risk factors
11. The inescapables - age, gender, and genes
12. Injury and surgery
13. Infection and Inflammation
14. Big killers
15. Consumerism, literally
16. Exercise
17. Traditional vices
18. Unhealthy environments
19. Use it or lose it
20. What are your chances?
Section 3: Mechanisms
21. The puzzle of amyloid
22. The promise of amyloid
23. Probing the frontiers
24. The end is only the beginning

Special Features:

Explains new insights into the development of neurodegenerative diseases from the relatively young field of neuroimmunology.
Tackles a subject of intense current scientific research and wide general anxiety.
Draws on personal experience alongside discussion of the science to highlight the human impact of brain disorders such as Alzheimer's and dementia.
The latest work by the prolific science writer and neuroscientist, Dr Kathleen Taylor.

About the Author:

Dr Kathleen Taylor studied physiology and philosophy at the University of Oxford. After a research MSc at Stirling University, working on brain chemistry, she returned to Oxford to do a DPhil in visual neuroscience and postdoctoral work on cognitive neuroscience. In 2002 she won two writing competitions run by the Times Higher Education Supplement, one for science writing and one for an essay in the humanities/social sciences. She has written on a range of topics from consciousness to cruelty, including several books published by OUP in the last decade: Brainwashing (2004), Cruelty (2009) and The Brain Supremacy (2012).

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