A young man comes into the emergency department every few weeks with mysterious air bubbles under his skin. An otherwise healthy adult male cannot shake the hiccups. A woman becomes partially paralyzed every time she gets pregnant. These are some of the curious cases that are presented in True Medical Detective Stories by Clifton K. Meador (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012; 102 pp). . . .
Temple Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, a consultant to the livestock industry, and a bestselling author. She does extensive writing and speaking on autism spectrum disorders, and is noted for being autistic herself. Her newest book is The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013; 240 pp). In it, she and coauthor Richard Panek trace some of the clinical history of the condition, explain what can and cannot be gained from techniques like neuroimaging, and share what they believe are some good child-rearing strategies for parents with autistic children. . . .
Psychiatrist Sally Satel and clinical psychologist Scott Lilienfeld have collaborated on a useful new book, Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience (Basic Books, 2013; 256 pp). According to the authors, neuroscience is an enormously promising field, but one that has been to a large extent co-opted by irresponsible shysters trying to create buzz in fields such as marketing, education, psychology, and the law. Brain scan imaging may someday reveal certain mysteries about how the brain works, they say, but today's color-dappled images are not the window into the mind that some people are making them out to be. . . .
Neurosurgeon and media personality Sanjay Gupta explores the process of death and how to thwart it in his book, Cheating Death: The Doctors and Medical Miracles that Are Saving Lives Against All Odds (Grand Central Publishing, 2009; 282 pp). Gupta, of course, is best known for his appearances on television as CNN's medical correspondent. This is his second non-fiction book, the first being the somewhat complementary Chasing Life from 2007. . . .