A Doctor, a Drug, and a Breakthrough
by Walter A. Brown
Pub Date 23 Jul 2019
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The remarkable untold story of a miracle drug, the forgotten pioneer who discovered it, and the fight to bring lithium to the masses.
From insulin comas and lobotomy to incarceration and exile, those who suffer bipolar disorder endured dangerous, ineffective treatments for centuries until a momentous breakthrough in the 1950s offered salvation. Lithium’s astonishing efficacy at both ending and preventing manic depressive episodes was discovered by Dr John Cade, whose years running a psychiatric ward as a World War II prisoner of war sparked a hunch that put him on the path to revelation.
The miraculous metal has since salvaged an untold number of lives, but even after its healing power was discovered, it would be decades before the medical community—not to mention the general public—could be convinced that lithium, no longer stigmatized, was not only safe, but utterly lifesaving.
Walter A. Brown, a renowned psychiatrist and academic, has crafted a compelling work of medical history, revealing just how close we came to missing out on this extraordinary drug, and showcasing the limitless possibilities of scientific curiosity.
About the Author: Walter A. Brown has been a practicing psychiatrist and professor at Brown University for more than forty years. He has contributed to publications such as Scientific American, Scientific American Mind, and Psychology Today