What inspired you to put this book together?
I have been a science reporter covering the brain for 30 years, spending my first 25 years as a daily reporter for a New York newspaper called Newsday. As my interest in the brain is diverse, I was asked to write the book as many people were now using the technology for a variety of different neurological diseases. I decided that the best way to tell the story of deep brain stimulation was to interview patients from all walks of life and use their experience with DBS to write the short history of the technique.
Which section of the book did you find easiest and most natural to write?
I loved interviewing different scientists and the patients who so graciously shared their lives with me. I grew very close to a number of people during this process and they will always be a part of my life. I enjoyed the chapter on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, where we meet Mario. And on the science side, I loved the chapter on Minimally Conscious States and the work of Dr. Nicholas Schiff.
Did the final product come out as you envisioned it when you first started?
Yes, the book is a small but powerful story of science in the making. I have always seen it as my mission to educate people and that is precisely what this book enabled me to do.
What is the best compliment you have received on the book?
I have heard from many patients that they decided to get DBS after reading the book and learned a lot and that is very comforting to know. Again, educating people is the key. We had an amazing book talk at Book Revue in Huntington NY and a patient/physician in my book came to talk as well as a neurologist who has done many DBS surgeries. It was a packed crowd and everyone seemed pleased by the stories.
What are some new and upcoming things we can expect from you?
I am now writing a coming of age book about a family of a boy with Neurofibromatosis. It is an incredibly engaging story.