• Title: The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get it Back
  • Author: Clark Elliott
  • ISBN: 9780525426561
  • Page: 401
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Ghost in My Brain How a Concussion Stole My Life and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get it Back The dramatic story of one man s recovery offers new hope to those suffering from concussions and other brain traumas In Clark Elliott suffered a concussion when his car was rear ended Overnight
    The dramatic story of one man s recovery offers new hope to those suffering from concussions and other brain traumas In 1999, Clark Elliott suffered a concussion when his car was rear ended Overnight his life changed from that of a rising professor with a research career in artificial intelligence to a humbled man struggling to get through a single day At times he couldThe dramatic story of one man s recovery offers new hope to those suffering from concussions and other brain traumas In 1999, Clark Elliott suffered a concussion when his car was rear ended Overnight his life changed from that of a rising professor with a research career in artificial intelligence to a humbled man struggling to get through a single day At times he couldn t walk across a room, or even name his five children Doctors told him he would never fully recover After eight years, the cognitive demands of his job, and of being a single parent, finally became than he could manage As a result of one final effort to recover, he crossed paths with two brilliant Chicago area research clinicians one a specialized optometrist, the other a cognitive psychologist working on the leading edge of brain plasticity Within weeks the ghost of who he had been started to re emerge Remarkably, Elliott kept detailed notes throughout his experience, from the moment of impact to the final stages of his recovery, astounding documentation that is the basis of this fascinating book The Ghost in My Brain gives hope to the millions who suffer from head injuries each year, and provides a unique and informative window into the world s most complex computational device the human brain.

    One Reply to “The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get it Back”

    1. 10 years ago I was involved in a "terrible accident" in which I experienced severe brain damage. Unconscious for 3 months, I, a former "gifted underachiever" awoke to a world of confusion. A world in which my humanity was gone. I've learned to control myself in order to function in the normal world and have become what is called a highly functional concussive, but I'm still not me. Far from it. This book was very well and thoughtfully written. It is a must read for anyone battling with their own [...]

    2. The Ghost in My Brain is an intriguing trip through traumatic brain injury, written by a university professor who suffered a severe concussion in a car accident and dealt with confoundingly debilitating effects for years afterward, until he finally, serendipitously, came across two specialists who had developed unusual therapies that produce significant improvements in the injured brain. After working with them, Clark Elliot's life is completely turned around. He goes from a life dominated by hi [...]

    3. More reviews at TheBibliophage.Dr. Clark Elliott’s medical memoir, The Ghost in My Brain, is one of the best I’ve read. Elliott, who is a PhD teaching Artificial Intelligence in Chicago, describes the effects of a concussion like nothing else I’ve seen. To discuss the resulting book and it’s descriptions as impressive is only part of the story. Once you read how damaged Elliott’s brain was, you’ll be stunned he was able to write such a cogent and compelling book.I have a dear friend [...]

    4. This will most likely be on my favorite books of the year list. This book was absolutely fascinating. Brain science is so intriguing. Elliott breaks down what happened to his brain following a concussion. His descriptions of how his brain "worked" and his thought-process sequence were in laymen terms and now I'm more interested than ever to learn more about the brain and how it functions following traumatic injuries. I highly recommend this book to everyone, but especially to those who are inter [...]

    5. First 2/3 good; went off the rails after thatDespite the fact that Norman Doidge, while not Daniel Amen, moves further away from actual science with each new book, I was willing to move past his highly enthusiastic blurb and read. Ditto, despite not knowing much about either doctor, or the claimed techniques (not listed on Skeptic's Dictionary), and so I read on.Then, near the end of the book, when he talks about his personal treatment from Markus and even more from Zelinsky, he zooms into anecd [...]

    6. Don't let the title fool you. This was written for the express purpose of the author telling you how smart he is/was. While I don't doubt that this guy had the symptoms that he describes I am not so sure that they were from a minor head injury. The convenience of his severe symptoms that make him unable to make a sandwich but still able to work as a professor and "singlehandedly" raise 6 kids is a bit preposterous. How he manages to actually get married, have a baby, yet go no help from the wife [...]

    7. I received this book as an advance copy in exchange for a review from Viking.Often when I read nonfiction books that have to simplify concepts in science, those with formal academic training in that discipline complain that it is too oversimplified, or in the worst case scenario, wrong. I have dabbled in neuroscience in my training as a Psychologist and I am happy to report that this book takes on a giant topic and makes it accessible to the general public. It was not a light read and not for wh [...]

    8. A Personal Account of What Suffering from a Concussion is LikeIn 1999, Clark Elliott was in a fairly minor automobile accident. He had a moment of blackout, but thought that his symptoms would quickly pass. They didn't. He experienced intense pain in his skull, suffered balance problems, had trouble thinking for any extended period of time, and suffered bouts of nausea when concentrating hard. Medical professionals were unable to help him, suggesting that he learn to live with his symptoms. Clar [...]

    9. Do book editors still exist? If one did for this book, they would have condensed the first 240 pages into maybe 40 pages. This would have helped the author not sound so pompous, confused, non-sensical and contradictory. How does a person go from barely able to walk and speak to raising a 2 year old child? Those are demands that cant be half way met.The author spent too much time trying to convince me of their high functioning and superior intellect and then the extremity of their symptoms. The r [...]

    10. I was interested in this book because my husband suffered a traumatic brain injury over twenty years ago, which has dramatically changed both of our lives. We listened to the audio version together and both of us found ourselves in tears at numerous times. It was a relief for my husband to have found that there was someone else out there who could describe what he has gone through in such clear detail. And, it is a relief for both of us to know that there is hope in the research that is being do [...]

    11. One of the better traumatic brain injury books that I have read, Elliott is articulate and shows just how debilitating and maddening TBIs can be. His story also raises some serious questions about how we should approach brain injury treatment and in that regard other mental health issues that are the result of how our brains process information, whether the damage comes from blunt trauma or psychological trauma. First, medical professionals need to learn to work from a baseline for the patient. [...]

    12. I didn't particularly care for the layout of this book. While the material was compelling, it was relayed in a disparate, confusing timeline that made any understanding the experiences the author was having quite impossible. For instance, the passage in which he was reminding himself of whether or not he had children every morning came after talking about being primarily the single parent to his 2 yr old. I don't see how this reminder would be necessary in such a situation unless this is before [...]

    13. Fascinating book. Elliott does a marvelous job of conveying the absolute confusion and frustration of his post accident condition. He progresses through the book from that time, which dragged on for a miserable eight years, to his first meeting with the first medical professional who actually listened to his carefully notated descriptions of his symptoms. The following sections of the book describe the series of excercises and the corrective lenses that eventually lead him back to the person he [...]

    14. I am extremely interested in cognitive neuroscience. Indeed there is some interesting information in here about the strangeness of the human brain. The book details an AI professor's search for help in curing his TBI, acquired in an auto accident in 1999. He attempts to detail as much of his journey as possible in the hopes of helping people understand what it is like to live with TBI. I agree that more awareness is needed, and I often like when scientists give a first hand account of something [...]

    15. I was drawn to this book from an article I read about the author in which he described the various elements in our bodies and brains which help maintain balance. If for example one has damage to the inner ear, the brain relies more on sight for maintaining balance. My spinal stenosis has left my feet very numb, which causes some balance problems for me, which my brain compensates by relying more on my eyesight. Close my eyes or cut off my sight from the world around me and my balance problems be [...]

    16. This is an exceptional book. It is sadistic to think that "it was the right thing that happened to Dr. Elliott" but because it happened to him, he turned that into an opportunity for others like him to use similar approaches. The two heroes of the story are two cutting age brain researchers in Drs. Zelinsky and Dr. Donalee who are doing significant work in this field. Several parts of the book go off the top due to their technicalities and yet many are surreal and almost transcendental. Great bo [...]

    17. An AI PH.D. Suffers from TBI and documents his experience post accident from describing his physical and mental experience and his quest for treatment. Notes, this isn't a scientific treatise by specialist. This is autobiographical with a scientific bent due to the author being in academia.Some items are interesting to note, but there,s disonnect between the impairments suffered, the energy it drains and yet still being able to drive a car. I found myself more interested in the authors audiophil [...]

    18. This book was the first I have read of amazing new concepts via optometry and rerouting thought and visual perception to create new brain pathways for for people suffering the effects of concussion. I wonder if any of it could relate to other types of brain damage, or autism, etc? It is very detailed, having been written by a professor who was suffering from the effects of a severe concussion, but well worth reading.

    19. Since I am suffering from a severe concussion, the last part of the book was the most interesting to me (how he recovered with the help of some really cool science) not only for me personally, but also how his treatment may help others with learning disabilities and possibly ADHD as well.

    20. Very depressing. But made me understand Justin's concussion syndrome better. And gave us hope that the magic glasses will fix him. Potentially life changing.

    21. In 1999, Clark Elliott was a research professor with a rising career in artificial intelligence. Then he was the victim of a rear-end car collision, and his life was transformed overnight.Simple tasks had become difficult. He sometimes had difficulty remembering his children's names. He sometimes had difficulty walking through doors, or down corridors. He had difficulty making decisions--simple decisions. A sign on a shop door saying "Come in" once held him in place for several minutes, knowing [...]

    22. This book does a disservice to the cause it is trying to promote: awareness and treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury. Like Maureen Seaberg's Tasting the Universe (synthesia), Clark Elliott's narrative is off-putting, alternating between segregating and offensive or boring and repetitive. I'm all for solving your own problems, taking strength by your own will, and determining your own path, but what I'm not for is putting other people down, righteous and superior in your path. The narrative has o [...]

    23. I received this book from a giveaway.There were parts of this book that were amazing, but overall, the book was difficult to read and just didn't flow very well for me. The author's experiences following his accident were gut-wrenching and I felt so bad for him. How he managed to carry on with his life during that time was incredible. Those parts gave me a new perspective on how people with disabilities and injuries need help just to get through very basic daily activities. The part of the book [...]

    24. As I am going through recovery of a TBI now, this book made me feel validated. It is really an invisible injury and many of the passages in the book were as I felt. Everyone's concussion is different and recovery is different. My problem with the book was the rather pompous manner of the writer and trying to read through his tedious accounts were painful. The book could have been a lot shorter. Because of his tedious detail, I almost put the book down many times, but it was recommended by so man [...]

    25. The Ghost in my Brain takes you on an interesting journey through the struggles of a professor who deals with a traumatic brain injury. Through his journey he deals with the difficulties and trials of rewiring his brain, looking to the help of experts in the field. I felt like this book was an intriguing look into what many people have to deal with after bad concussions and brain injuries in general, and just how severe the symptoms really are. I was also surprised to learn just how much these i [...]

    26. Can someone please explain the epilogue for me? Was it entirely a recount of his bad experience early on? Or did he have a horrible episode like that in present-day, AFTER he had gone through the healing? I wasn't sure why the epilogue would spend the whole time recounting a bad story from a decade ago but alternatively it didn't make sense that he would have that bad of a flare-up now. He said he was recalling a bad night from long ago but he then used the word "now" in the context of "now I co [...]

    27. Interesting, but ultimately unsatisfying, account of a man with a severe concussion who regains his ability to move normally through novel therapies involving glasses that direct light toward different parts of his retinas to form new pathways in his brain. He had never had to stop working as a professor, or stop driving, but he moved in a jerky, uncertain way, and found it hard to do anything without wearing out his brain. According to him, he got over it. There is little detail about how he wa [...]

    28. Very interesting book. I wish more info had been included on brain glasses. For example, how/why do they work when a person’s eyes are closed? I also wonder if the care the author received is covered by insurance. I sincerely hope that people who have brain damage from concussions are able to find this book and achieve similar results. I can’t imagine having to live with the symptoms the author lived with for 10 years. .

    29. For all the discussion about mental health recently - *this book.* I was enthralled through the whole story. The recovery portion was beautiful and I loved it. We can't get to recovery without diagnosis and I deeply appreciated hearing the struggles as well. I'm less prone to rush passed people in daily life after hearing his experiences.

    30. I found this book to be very interesting as I too have a brain injury. it's interesting because no two brain injuries are alike, they are all different. I did find it a bit hard to read at times because it was going on and on about the same thing, but I enjoyed the read.Thank you for sharing your journey and I cant wait to read other biographies about brain injury.

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