Lost and Found
Memory, Identity, and Who We Become When We're No Longer Ourselves
By Jules Montague
A fascinating and timely examination of what happens to the person left behind when memories disappear, personality changes, and consciousness is disrupted.
An unforgettable book for fans of Henry Marsh and Atul Gawande about how we lose ourselves and those around us - and how we can be found again.
Who do we become when our minds misbehave? If a loved one changes as a result of a brain disorder, are they still the same person? Could a brain disorder enhance your identity rather than damage it?
From dementia and brain injury to sleep disorders, coma, and multiple personality disorder, leading neurologist and journalist Dr Jules Montague explores what remains of the person left behind when the pieces of their mind go missing. Along the way she answers fascinating questions about how we remember, think and behave. Why do some memories endure and others fade? Why do you sometimes forget why you went into a room? And what if rather than losing memories, your mind creates false ones - are they still yours, and do they still make you, you?
'This is a book for anyone wanting to understand the human brain and personhood; it is a book for anyone with a loved one with dementia and for those of us who fear dementia... Montague takes the reader on an exquisite journey into the human brain and beyond that, to the metaphysics of personhood... Occasionally we come across a physicist or economist who, despite their subject matter, can stop you in your tracks. They reel you in without you realising. Montague is a neurologist who does exactly that. She has a rare gift: she makes her craft look simple... Throughout this book Montague displays a maturity and wisdom not always observed in clinicians or indeed any other kind of human.' Irish Times
'A profoundly moving, revelatory book... Like the late Oliver Sacks, Jules Montague writes about bizarre cases. ...And yet, she is also writing about what it is to be human and the surprising fragility of our sense of self.' Daily Mail
Doctor Jules Montague is a Consultant Neurologist in London, a job she combines with medical work in Mozambique and India each year.
Originally from a seaside town in Ireland, Jules studied Medicine at Trinity College, Dublin and moved to London nine years ago.
Her clinical sub-specialty is young-onset dementia - patients who develop memory and behavioural changes as early as their 20's. Some of her most challenging work is in the intensive care setting where she sees patients who have suffered catastrophic brain injuries.
She writes regularly for the Guardian. Her work has also featured in Granta, Mosaic, Aeon, NME, the Independent, the Verge, the Lancet, and on the BBC.
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- Publication date:
08 Mar 2018
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