How the Brain Lost Its Mind by Allan H. Ropper

How the Brain Lost Its Mind

A noted neurologist challenges the widespread misunderstanding of brain disease and mental illness. How the Brain Lost Its Mind tells the rich and compelling story of two confounding ailments, syphilis and hysteria, and the extraordinary efforts to confront their effects on mental life. How does the mind work? Where does madness lie, in the brain or in the mind? How should it be treated?Throughout the nineteenth century, syphilis--a disease of ma...

Details How the Brain Lost Its Mind

TitleHow the Brain Lost Its Mind
Release DateAug 20th, 2019
PublisherAvery Publishing Group
GenreNonfiction, Science, Psychology, History, Medical, Health, Mental Health

Reviews How the Brain Lost Its Mind

  • Ann-Marie
    A book I looked forward to reading and I was not disappointed. It was not what I was expecting. It was actually about how the study of psychiatry/psychiatry and neurology were impacted by the centuries long attempt of medical science to understand and cure syphilis. A lot was said about the difference between the mind and the brain and how very little we know even now. Quite an interesting read, especially for someone who has neurological, (epil...
  • Jess
    Well, I fell for the old click bait title and I really wish I had just kept on scrolling, metaphorically speaking. What I mean to say is that I was excited to read this book and thought that it would highlight the challenges of treating mental illness and neurological disorders. I was mistaken. In reality, this book is a history of syphilis. Well, in some respects. The sections on the origins of syphilis are woefully inadequate and privilege only...
  • Karen
    Plucked this book off the library shelf and so glad I did. It lives up to its titillating title as Ropper and Burrell combine riveting (and sometimes stomach churning) vignettes with the genesis and often meandering growth of neurology, psychiatry and psychoanalysis. The horror of neurosyphilis and the eventual cure illustrate the overlapping of disciplines as each finds its way in the no man’s land separating the mind and the brain. Well writt...
  • Peter Herrmann
    The authors try to explain how psychiatrists, neurologists, neuro-psychiatrists, pharma, etc have dealt with mind/brain illnesses - and give so many anecdotes, 'clarifications' and verbiage around the dichotomy of mind-brain that, in the end, I'm just confused about what their thesis really is. More verbiage would NOT have helped. Perhaps less is sometimes more. To a large extent - not exclusively - this is a history of syphilis; but a rather fra...
  • Sandy Schleich
    I really like this book. I thought it was very informative and I learned a lot of things that I didn’t know. It was boring in some places but I did like the fact that it was more in layman‘s terms so it was easier to understand instead of in medical term. There were some things in here like syphilis that I did not know caused issues in the mind. I just thought it was a sexually transmitted disease not that it made you go crazy. I did love the...
    I am very glad I came across this book in the book store. I was browsing around and this book literally was like a God send. I was so happy that this book was a neuronal academic literary work. My speciality in college is neuroscience, and the dynamics of the neuronal mapping's spiritual circulation. In the physiological form of course. The book was well provisioned with ample of helpful case studies that allowed for great insight into the neuros...
  • Patricia Martin
    Does the cause for mental disorders lie in the brain or the mind? In spite of impressive medical technological advances, there remains no evidence of brain lesions to account for most of the disorders included in the DSM V. This extremely well-written and compelling read traces the existence of neurosyphilis through history. In the case of syphilis, there is now a known etiology (thanks to the invention of a dye, methylene blue, and the scientist...
  • Richard Jacobson
    An interesting historical review of how neurology and psychiatry evolved together, and then diverged, in the 19th and 20th century. Told through the stories of Charcot at the Salpetriere, Freud and his rotation there, Gilles de la Tourette and his relation to the Charcot school, and many others. Running through the exposition is the recognition that much of insanity during that period was probably due to neurosyphilis, and the spirochete is itsel...
  • Oliver Eike
    Just how did i stumble upon this book? Well, it came up here on Goodreads as a recommended actually and the title itself had me click on it to find out if it was something interesting. And boy was it. The book aims to settle what is brain disease and what is a disease of the mind. And what might be causes of either of them. Syphilis plays a major role in the book as does ye ol' Hysteria. As the authors seek to unravel what both are and define and...
  • Stephanie Lynn
    It was interesting to learn about how the discovery of syphilis shaped the field of mental illness, and spurred on the battle of the brain versus the mind. After reading this, I feel like everything I've ever learned about mental health disorders is all bullshit made up by a bunch of dudes whose brains were being eaten away by syphilis or cocaine. Freud literally made up the case studies on which he based his psychoanalytic theories that dominate...
  • Jan
    Just made my reading challenge for the year! This book made me earn it. So how do the experts decide if and what can cure/help mental illnesses? The answer is it depends and they proceed (sometimes in excruciating detail) the historical meanderings between biology/neurology and psychological theories. They use syphilis as a key player in the twists and turns. Unfun takeaway...syphilis is on the rise again and Oregon is highlighted... Bottom line ...
  • Melissa T
    I won this copy on good reads first reads Thank You! By reading this book I learned so much about hysteria and Mental Illness, a lot of it I knew nothing about. I found myself talking about my new found knowledge to all of my co workers and my husband. Having a daughter that has been diagnosed as bipolar with schizophrenic tendencies it helped me see a different side of things. I have read this book twice now and I am still finding new informatio...
  • Christine
    Such an interesting subject but so unsuccessfully executed. I'm having a hard time believing this made it past an editor. It reads more like a first draft than a final published work.  It is so poorly organized, jumps all over the place, and fails to provide a coherent narrative or clear thesis. Such a pity as it had the potential to be a very interesting book. I think I would really enjoy it two or three rewrites from now. 
  • Sambasivan
    Outstanding thesis. The distinction between neurology and psychiatry has been chronicled systematically and the need for their convergence has been established through this treatise. Though technical this book is written with great clarity and lucidity so that the lay person can follow the thought process. Amazing read.
  • John Mannion
    This is a fascinating account of the history of mental illness over the pass 200 or so years, by examining the social, cultural, psychological and even artistic impact of syphilis. The book also approaches the conundrum of what connects the brain to the mind. Syphilis is especially interesting in this area as it is one of the few physical diseases that directly causes mental illness.
  • Paola Rubiano Buitrago
    Not an easy to follow narrative.. But considering that it carries you through the history of mind and brain science that make sense. If you wanna know why syphilis was the key for many years for those " white coats and tell me how life makes you feel" people.. This book can give you a ride on that topic...
  • Jennifer
    Wasn't what I expected, but it was fun and interesting to learn all about syphilis and the origins of other epidemics. I would recommend this book, especially as a a resource for a history on mental illness.
  • Brian Morgan
    I think it gives anyone with a Neuro or psych background a real glimpse into the havoc syphilis caused. With that said, it will make you rethink the purpose of a diagnosis when a patient enters an psych office. I enjoyed it and recommended to several colleagues.
  • w1ndsor
    I must admit, I read this book because the title was so intriguing -- but it turned out to be so good. It's mostly about the history of Neurosyphillis and it's diagnosis as a mental illness to it's discovery and treatment as a disease.
  • Myka Gilliam
    This was fascinating and very readable! I found myself relating my new found knowledge to all of my friends. This is a must for anyone interested in the science of the brain be it psychiatric or neurology.
  • Emily
    Interesting book mostly focusing on syphilis. It covered a lot of ground without going into much depth especially on biology.
  • Leigh Ann
    A fascinating, informative narrative of a history about which i knew nothing—and could not have conceiced of.
  • Kari Olfert
    Very interesting. The title is what pulled me in haha
  • Michelle
    Interesting read. Though more school textbook than intriguing history book. I did learn a few things, but it wasn't what I call a page turner.
  • Hailey
    A very interesting read
  • Randy Hsieh
    It's in interesting read/listen.Perhaps more than one ever wanted to know about a certain disease but seemingly relevant in today's world, the book does not drag or get too technical.