Neurodegenerative diseases, such as a stroke, Alzheimer's and dementia, are now tragically commonplace within the western world. Our brains are a strange and complex organ, and there is much to be discovered about what causes them to fail in such devastating ways. In this book Kathleen Taylor presents the ever-developing research into the cause and cure of these life-changing conditions, focusing on insights arising from the relatively new field of neuroimmunology - the increasing recognition of the important role of the immune system in the brain. Interweaving the latest scientific ideas on neurodegenerative diseases with accounts of the devastation which illnesses affecting the brain can cause to sufferers and to anyone who cares about them, The Fragile Brain is not only an important account of current research in this field, but a very personal study. As instances of dementia rise in our ageing populations, many harbour anxieties concerning the future.This book is about knowing the enemy.
Dr Kathleen Taylor studied physiology and philosophy at the University of Oxford. After a research MSc at Stirling University, working on brain chemistry, she returned to Oxford to do a DPhil in visual neuroscience and postdoctoral work on cognitive neuroscience. In 2002 she won two writing competitions run by the Times Higher Education Supplement, one for science writing and one for an essay in the humanities/social sciences. She has written on a range of topics from consciousness to cruelty, including several books published by OUP in the last decade: Brainwashing (2004), Cruelty (2009) and The Brain Supremacy (2012).