Beyond the personal accounts (Eric Hodgins' Episode, also Douglas Ritchie's Stroke cited here) there have been no recent...

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THE SHATTERED MIND

Beyond the personal accounts (Eric Hodgins' Episode, also Douglas Ritchie's Stroke cited here) there have been no recent general perspectives of the short-circuit of the brain we more euphemistically call an accident. The stroke is the third leading killer; those who survive it are injured to a greater or lesser, curable or irremediable degree, according to the site, known as gyms, affected. The impairments may include language, perception, memory; more strangely, speed reading or mathematical reasoning. Almost always there are accompanying mood and behavioral changes. Howard Gardner, with the cooperation of the Boston University School of Medicine, where he has worked for three years with brain-damaged patients, discusses the history of the disease and its present state of neuropsychological research, briefly includes diagnostic and clinical techniques and rehabilitative therapies. For the most part his book is a study of the types of disability which go by the names of aphasia, alexia and agraphia, dyslexia, agnosia or Korsakoff's syndrome which is memory loss. He also questions whether they can be categorized this summarily and whether there is an overall coherence. And finally he discusses this illness in terms of the very young, the very old, or the very gifted (writers are the most affected). Occasional profiles of stroke victims, as well as their recorded experiences, make the material less demanding for the general reader lost, as so often are both doctor and patient, in the clusters of symptoms and syndromes. . . . An extensive, excellent study of that impalpable grey and white mass which contains so much that is intricate, speculative and still unknown re its governance of our feelings and faculties.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1974