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Oliver Sacks, neurologist and author, dead at 82
Renowned neurologist, author wrote books such as The Man Who Mistook His Wife for A Hat

Dr. Oliver Sacks, the neurologist who studied the intricacies of the brain and wrote eloquently about them in books such as Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, died on Sunday at the age of 82, the New York Times reported.

The British-born Sacks, who announced in February 2015 that he had terminal liver cancer, died at his home in New York City, his longtime personal assistant Kate Edgar told the Times.

Sacks was called “a kind of poet laureate of medicine” and “one of the great clinical writers of the 20th century” by the New York Times.

Using a typewriter or writing in longhand, Sacks authored more than a dozen books, filling them with detailed, years-long case histories of patients who often became his friends. He explained to lay readers how the brain handles everything from autism to savantism, colourblindness to Tourette’s syndrome, and how his patients could adapt to their unconventional minds.

Sacks’ view, as expressed in his 1995 book An Anthropologist on Mars, was that such disorders also came with a potential that could bring out “latent powers, developments, evolutions, forms of life that might never be seen, or even be imaginable.”

“The brain is the most intricate mechanism in the universe,” he said in a People magazine interview. “I couldn’t imagine spending my life with kidneys.”

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The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales


In his most extraordinary book, “one of the great clinical writers of the twentieth century” (The New York Times) recounts the case histories of patients lost in the bizarre, apparently inescapable world of neurological disorders.

Oliver Sacks’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.

If inconceivably strange, these brilliant tales remain, in Dr. Sacks’s splendid and sympathetic telling, deeply human. They are studies of life struggling against incredible adversity, and they enable us to enter the world of the neurologically impaired, to imagine with our hearts what it must be to live and feel as they do. A great healer, Sacks never loses sight of medicine’s ultimate responsibility: “the suffering, afflicted, fighting human subject.”


One of my personal favorites. This book single-handedly got me interested in psychology, neuroscience, and the human mind. R.I.P. Oliver Sacks, truly one of the best scientists and humanists of the past century!

  Brain abnormalities are present even before onset of schizophrenia  

Even before the onset of schizophrenia, irregularities in key brain areas are already present in individuals at higher risk of developing psychosis, a Yale-led study shows.

The findings identify a potential marker for the debilitating disease that afflicts 1% of the world’s population and suggest at least a partial explanation for why schizophrenia most typically manifests itself in young adulthood.

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This study was supported by grants  from the National Institute of Mental Health,  National Institutes of Health, a Brain and Behavior Research Foundation Young Investigator Award from the Commonwealth Research Center.

Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating. Shyness is inherently painful; introversion is not.
You’re told that you’re in your head too much, a phrase that’s often deployed against the quiet and cerebral. Or maybe there’s another word for such people: thinkers.