}

PayPal accepted MORE INFO

Close Notification

Your cart does not contain any items

Lithium: A Doctor, a Drug, and a Breakthrough

Walter A. Brown (Brown University)

$43.95

Hardback

In stock
Ready to ship

QTY:

Liveright
05 September 2019
Medicine; Clinical & internal medicine
The DNA double helix, penicillin, the X-ray, insulin-these are routinely cited as some of the most important medical discoveries of the twentieth century. And yet, the 1949 discovery of lithium as a cure for bipolar disorder is perhaps one of the most important-yet largely unsung-breakthroughs of the modern era. In Lithium, Walter Brown, a practicing psychiatrist and professor at Brown, reveals two unlikely success stories: that of John Cade, the physician whose discovery would come to save an untold number of lives and launch a pharmacological revolution, and that of a miraculous metal rescued from decades of stigmatization.

From insulin comas and lobotomy to incarceration to exile, Brown chronicles the troubling history of the diagnosis and (often ineffective) treatment of bipolar disorder through the centuries, before the publication of a groundbreaking research paper in 1949. Cade's Lithium Salts in the Treatment of Psychotic Excitement described, for the first time, lithium's astonishing efficacy at both treating and preventing the recurrence of manic-depressive episodes, and would eventually transform the lives of patients, pharmaceutical researchers, and practicing physicians worldwide. And yet, as Brown shows, it would be decades before lithium would overcome widespread stigmatization as a dangerous substance, and the resistance from the pharmaceutical industry, which had little incentive to promote a naturally occurring drug that could not be patented.

With a vivid portrait of the story's unlikely hero, John Cade, Brown also describes a devoted naturalist who, unlike many modern medical researchers, did not benefit from prestigious research training or big funding sources (Cade's laboratory was the unused pantry of an isolated mental hospital). As Brown shows, however, these humble conditions were the secret to his historic success: Cade was free to follow his own restless curiosity, rather than answer to an external funding source. As Lithium makes tragically clear, medical research-at least in America-has transformed in such a way that serendipitous discoveries like Cade's are unlikely to occur ever again.

Recently described by the New York Times as the Cinderella of psychiatric drugs, lithium has saved countless of lives and billions of dollars in healthcare costs. In this revelatory biography of a drug and the man who fought for its discovery, Brown crafts a captivating picture of modern medical history-revealing just how close we came to passing over this extraordinary cure.
By:   Walter A. Brown (Brown University)
Imprint:   Liveright
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 244mm,  Width: 168mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   445g
ISBN:   9781631491993
ISBN 10:   1631491997
Pages:   256
Publication Date:   05 September 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

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. He lives in Tiverton, Rhode Island.

Reviews for Lithium: A Doctor, a Drug, and a Breakthrough

His [Walter Brown's] beautifully written and insightful book deserves to be widely read by poets and novelists, among whom instances of bipolar disorder are above average, and, more importantly, by all those involved in the regulation and provision of medicines. -- Literary Review The intertwined story of Cade and his momentous finding is told in Lithium, a compelling book by US psychiatrist Walter Brown... What Brown does superbly well is to show that Cade made his discovery without access to advances in technology or to modern facilities - and almost despite them. -- Nature


See Also