The Other Brain

The Other Brain Image

A “detailed exploration of a major part of the brain that has been ignored for decades”—and the revolutionary treatments that glial cells could bring (Kirkus Reviews).

Despite everything that has been written about the brain, a potentially critical part of this vital organ has been overlooked—until now. The Other Brain examines the growing importance of glia, which make up approximately eighty-five percent of the cells in the brain, and the role they play in how the brain functions, malfunctions, and heals itself.

Long neglected as little more than cerebral packing material, glia (meaning “glue”) are now known to regulate the flow of information between neurons and to repair the brain and spinal cord after injury and stroke. But scientists are also discovering that diseased and damaged glia play a significant role in psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia and depression, and in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Diseased glia cause brain cancer and multiple sclerosis and are linked to infectious diseases such as HIV and prion disease (mad cow disease, for example) and to chronic pain. The more we learn about these cells that make up the “other” brain, the more important they seem to be.

Written by a neuroscientist who is a leader in glial research, The Other Brain gives readers a much more complete understanding of how the brain works and an intriguing look at potentially revolutionary developments in brain science and medicine.

“An insightful, complex, and nuanced picture of the most interesting substance on earth: the matter inside our heads.” —The Boston Globe

“Fascinating . . . absorbing and accessible . . . Fields gives life to a potentially dry medical topic by eavesdropping on the work of other neuroscientists, past and present, and shows how penetrating glia’s secrets offers hope for breakthroughs in healing.” —Booklist

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Readers' opinions about The Other Brain by R. Douglas Fields

I'm already planning to reread this book. It's one of those stories that you can revisit again and again, discovering new layers of meaning each time.

The characters in this book felt like old friends, and I was sad to say goodbye to them at the end. It's a testament to the author's talent for creating memorable and relatable personas.

What a rollercoaster of emotions! I laughed, cried, and everything in between. The author's ability to evoke such raw feelings is truly commendable. It's a story that will stay with me forever.

More by R. Douglas Fields

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