Susannah Cahalan, journalist and author of The New York Times best-selling book Brain on Fire, and board of directors’ member of the Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance, gave the keynote address at the Fifth Schizophrenia International Research Society conference in Florence, Italy (the podcast link is below). She shared her story of being struck down, and recovering from, NMDA receptor autoimmune encephalitis. Though the condition is thought to be a rare cause of psychosis, her story had several clinicians wondering afterward whether they had missed such a condition in some of their patients. The April 2, event had 1,800 attendees hailing from 54 countries gathering at the Firenza Fiera Conference Center. The meeting was the biggest—and most exclusive—ever: SIRS President Rene Kahn of the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands mentioned in his opening remarks that only one-third of submitted abstracts had been accepted. Visit SIRS 2016—Florence Warmly Welcomes Schizophrenia Researchers to read more about the conference. To listen to a podcast interview with Susannah during her time at the conference scroll to the 14 minute mark of Listen to The Lancet Psychiatry .
Susannah Cahalan is the author of the New York Times bestseller Brain on Fire. She is currently working on her second book about the history of psychiatry, due out in 2018. She is on the board of the Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance.