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Infectious Madness: The Surprising Science of How We "Catch" Mental Illness
by Harriet A. Washington

Publication Date:
List Price: $15.99 (store prices may vary)
Format: Paperback
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 320
ISBN13: 9780316277815
Imprint: Back Bay Books
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Parent Company: Back Bay Books

Book Description:
"Fascinating…A superb book."—Robert Sapolsky, Stanford professor of neuroscience and neurosurgery and author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers

What causes mental illness? We’ve long blamed stress, trauma, and brain-chemistry imbalances. But a new theory is quietly achieving critical mass. In INFECTIOUS MADNESS, award-winning science writer Harriet Washington reveals that schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Alzheimer’s, and anorexia also may be caused by bacteria, parasites, or viruses. Weaving together cutting-edge research and case studies, INFECTIOUS MADNESS shows how strep throat can trigger rapid-onset OCD in a formerly healthy teen and how contact with cat litter elevates the risk of schizophrenia. Featuring a new afterword by the author, and rich in science, medical mysteries, cultural nuance, and evidence-based recommendations, INFECTIOUS MADNESS pulls back the curtain on a new paradigm with profound implications for us all.

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