A molecule away from madness
On the vulnerability of the mind & how amazing it is that most of us are actually doing okay
Sara Manning Peskin takes on the idea of "madness" in her book A Molecule Away From Madness: Tales of the Hijacked Brain. It reads like a detective novel and is basically impossible to put down. On the one hand, the mind is shockingly vulnerable. When you think about the smallness of molecules and then think about how they may be holding together our sanity (!)—it’s harrowing. On the other hand, as Sarah puts it, it’s amazing that most of us are actually doing okay. The mind is fragile. Genetic mutations and inherited illness can put it at risk. But Sarah takes us through it with a kindness and straightforwardness that put me at ease. And she gives us some tips for preventing Alzheimer’s, which I found comforting. Thanks for seeing the hope and joy in at all, Sara. Can’t wait to read your next book.
Sara Manning Peskin, MD, MS, is an assistant professor of clinical neurology at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Harvard University, where she graduated magna cum laude prior to moving to Philadelphia. She attended medical school and received a master’s degree in cellular and molecular biology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she also completed her neurology residency and a fellowship in cognitive and behavioral neurology. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Boston Globe Magazine, among other publications.