Susannah Cahalan’s memoir Brain on Fire provides a moving account of her fight against anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. On August 6th, the paperback edition will be released. But don’t take my word that it’s a great book. Target stores have picked Brain on Fire as their August book of the month.
Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis is one of 13 types of autoimmune encephalitis (AE) and the only type with a commercially available test. (Hopefully some one will tell me I’m wrong one day soon; patients need more lab tests for other forms of AE.) It was the amazing work of Dr. Najjar and the availability of a diagnostic test that helped save Susannah’s life. Susannah has since regained her former life and more. She has become an amazing spokes person for all patients with AE. Watch her presentation at Duke Medical Center.
Many other families and patients have shared this difficult journey to find a diagnosis. It was out of our experience, Susannah’s experience and those of many other families that we started the AE Alliance to improve diagnosis and treatment so that no one faces AE alone.
If you haven’t already read Susannah’s book, pick up a copy of the new edition at a store near you. And tell others!! We’d love to hear your stories about Brain on Fire.