Hello Friends. As a SciComm journalist with 30 years of reporting and 6 books under my belt, which focus on how our stress response governs our immune health, I’ve been thinking about what I have learned, and how I might help you quiet your body and mind during this #pandemic.Continue reading Quiet Your Body and Mind
Dear Readers, Friends, All,
I’m thrilled to announce that THE ANGEL AND THE ASSASSIN: The Tiny Brain Cell that Changed the Course of Medicine in now on bookshelves and available everywhere!
When I first told you, my readers, that I was setting out to tell the story of these tiny brain cells, microglia (remember that name!) that connect our physical and mental health, and why these cells wield so much power over how we feel right here, right now — changing everything we thought we knew about depression, anxiety, chronic pain, mood disorders, and cognitive health, I was moved by your response.
My new book, THE ANGEL AND THE ASSASSIN: THE TINY BRAIN CELL THAT CHANGED THE COURSE OF MEDICINE will be out in just 2 months, on January 21st, 2020! After two years of reporting, researching, writing, factchecking, I can’t wait to share it with you!
I’m grateful for early praise pouring in from leading authors, scientists, physicians, and experts in their fields, people I think of, really, as Heroes of Humanity!
Susannah Cahalan, New York Times bestselling author of Brain on Fire calls The Angel and the Assassin “A fascinating deep dive into the unsung heroes (and villains) inside our skulls….Donna Jackson Nakazawa has a journalist’s eye for story, a scholar’s understanding of the research, and patient’s appreciation for high the stakes truly are.”
Dan Siegel, MD, Psychiatrist and Clinical Professor, UCLA School of Medicine, and author of Mindsight says, “An inspiring account…will provide a game-changing view of health for generations of researchers, clinicians and citizens for years to come. Bravo!”
Shannon Brownlee, Senior Vice President of the Lown Institute, author of Overtreated writes, “Few non-fiction writers can tell the tale of scientific inquiry so vividly the reader can feel the excitement of discovery with every word. Donna Jackson Nakazawa is one of those writers, and this book tells the tale of one of the most intriguing and groundbreaking discoveries in all of medicine.”
Thomas Insel, MD, Former Director, National Institute of Mental Health 2002 – 2015, writes that The Angel and the Assassin is “A deft, scientific story about the ‘Cinderella’ cell of the brain, microglia . . . Jackson Nakazawa explains the possible translation of the science into solutions for brain disorders, health and disease.”
Christina Bethell, PhD, Professor of Child Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health says, “A captivating, page-turning story of the scientific discoveries that overturn centuries of medical domga. The Angel and the Assassin offers extraordinary promise and heralds new hope … paradigm shifting reading for us all.”
Mark Hyman, MD, Director, The Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, New York Times bestselling author of Food, says, “[This] is the rarest of books, a combination of page-turning discovery and remarkably readable scientific journalism. A book to both savor and share.”
Susannah Tye, PhD, Director, Translational Neuroscience Laboratory, Mayo Clinic calls The Angel and the Assassin “An impressive, inspiring, timely call to arms.”
Terry Wahls, MD, author The Wahls Protocol, says, “The Angel and the Assassin is riveting, engaging. Nakazawa’s work is visionary.”
Peggy Orenstein, New York Times bestselling author of Girls & Sex, writes, “The Angel and the Assassin is one of those astonishing medical yarns that you almost can’t believe: how the power of this tiny cell was so long overlooked, how integral it has become to our understanding of neuroscience and immunology, the way it has transformed the most basic ideas of who we are as humans. It is especially essential reading for women, who face depression, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune disorders at higher rates than men.”
Andrew Weil, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Healthy Aging says, “Donna Jackson Nakazawa puts forth a revolutionary new way of thinking about the brain’s immune system and its interactions with [the] rest of the body….Much of the information here was new to me, and has made me more optimistic about the future of medicine.”
If you ARE maybe thinking of buying a copy of THE ANGEL AND THE ASSASSIN one day, would you consider pre-ordering? One of the most helpful things you can do to support an author’s work is to preorder the book from your independent, community bookseller. Here’s why! (Get ready for an INSIDE PEEK at publishing!) When you preorder from your local bookstore, the bookstore owner takes note: OH! HEY! PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED IN THIS BOOK! That makes them more likely to order copies, stock the book, place it in the bookstore window, write about it in their newsletter, and suggest it to other readers! (Oh, and to invite said author to do a book signing near you :). ALL THIS LEADS TO ANOTHER UNBELIEVABLY HELPFUL THING!! INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES report pre-sales and sales to The New York Times Bestseller list (and other lists!). Lists RELY on small, privately owned bookshops sales reports for rankings! HOW CAN YOU DO THIS? IT TAKES ONE MINUTE AND FOUR CLICKS. This link takes you to the page for THE ANGEL AND THE ASSASSIN where you’ll find options for pre-ordering. Click on INDIEBOUND. Type in your zipcode (on the right where it says “Buy at a local store.”) ORDER! (Maybe that is only three clicks? Even better.) If you want to buy on Amazon or Barnes & Noble that’s okay too! You’ll see those options at the same link. BOTTOM LINE: PRE-ordering an upcoming book from your LOCAL FRIENDLY BOOKSELLER IS THE ULTIMATE GIFT YOU CAN GIVE AN AUTHOR IF YOU VALUE READING THEIR BOOKS.
As we get closer to pub date I’ll be sharing my speaking schedule, where I’ll be signing books, and other big news! Stay tuned and THANK YOU for all of your help and support! I’m lucky to have the best readers on the planet! (Oh, and please share this widely!)
I hope you’ll enjoy this essay I wrote for Huffington Post, “Childhood Trauma Leads to Adult Chronic Illness — So Why Isn’t the Medical Community Helping Patients?” I put my heart into it.
My team has also gathered some of readers’ favorite articles and video clips in which I address the link between childhood trauma, and adult illness, and how we can heal, and put them all together in my most recent newsletter! You can find all that here: http://eepurl.com/b_AhU5 (If you want to receive future newsletters, you can “subscribe” in the top left menu in order to join our mailing list.)
To Your Healing,
I wanted to update you on recent events, and ask for a bit of advice as my team gears up for the paperback release of Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, And How You Can Heal — which will be out on July 26th.
Earlier this week I was happy and honored to give the opening talk at a conference on “Trauma Informed Healing” at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. It meant so much to deliver a speech on healing childhood trauma to a group that is so devoted to helping patients thrive.
Afterwards, Baltimore’s Ivy Bookshop held a book signing. It was a powerful day with several hundred chaplains, health care educators, hospital administrators and clergy coming together from the Mid-Atlantic area to learn about how early life trauma impacts patients facing both acute and chronic illnesses in adulthood, so that they can better serve the patients they encounter in hospital settings each day.
Meanwhile, the paperback release for Childhood Disrupted is right around the corner: July 26th! As our team gears up for pub date we’d Iove to have your feedback on the eCards we’ve been creating (for use on social media) which speak to how deeply trauma affects us on a biological and emotional level.
Which of these six eCard images speaks most to you, and why?
Thanks, as always,
In two weeks (July 26th) Childhood Disrupted will be out in paperback! To help spread the word about how the book can help individuals who are suffering find healing, our team is offering a free book giveaway! Three winners will receive a free signed copy and a second free copy for a friend!
Here’s how to enter:
1. Write a sentence about what you found most helpful about the book, or why it spoke to you, and post it as a review on Amazon.
2. Send a copy of your review in an email to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Review.” That’s it.
You’ll be entered for our giveaway drawing! Be sure to enter before noon on July 20th for a chance to get two free signed copies, one to keep and one to give to a friend who might find it helpful on their own path to healing. Thanks, as always, for your support and help in spreading the word that it’s never too late to heal.
Why do childhood traumas — like being frequently put down, losing a parent, living with a mom or dad who is depressed, or alcoholic, emotional neglect, and other early adversities — leave permanent physical “fingerprints” on our brains? In this VoiceAmerica Talk Radio interview, I share my thoughts with host Katherine Vox about the link between adverse childhood experiences and chronic adult illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune disease — and why this is especially true for women.
Here is a recent video interview, in which I share my thoughts on How Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Adult Illness, why our new understanding of this science must change the way we do medicine, and why I wrote my book, Childhood Disrupted. Produced by Studio4.
Hope you’ll enjoy!
I can’t believe it’s finally here: Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal hit stores yesterday and has been steadily climbing on Amazon (as of this afternoon, it was the #1 best-seller in Developmental Psychology and #787 overall!) and gaining traction on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and various news outlets, including Aeon Magazine and Huffington Post. Even more rewarding for me are the comments that have been pouring in from readers about how much they’re enjoying the book, and how important this topic is to them. How many times can I say that I have the best readers on the planet?!
Speaking of great readers, thank you to those of you who came to my reading (standing room only!) at the Ivy Bookstore in Baltimore last night; you made the event a huge success. I so enjoyed sharing the science in Childhood Disrupted with you all, and hearing your thoughts on the impact of childhood adversity on adult physical and mental health. If you couldn’t make it to the Ivy, stay tuned—I’ll be updating my “upcoming events” page soon with information about future readings and book signings in your area. I can’t wait to see you at my next event!
As promised, here are the results of yesterday’s give-away: congratulations to Debbie Manahan and Mari McCarthy, who will be receiving signed copies of Childhood Disrupted! I hope that the book will be helpful to both of you. Even though the give-away is over, it’s not too late to sign up for my newsletter to receive occasional updates about Childhood Disrupted in your inbox, as well as resources on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)—like this infographic (below) that our team created to explain the relationship between ACEs, women, and autoimmune disease. Feel free to share with your friends on social media (#ChildhoodDisrupted), so that we can start a discussion on ACEs and help those facing the aftermath of childhood adversity move toward healing and transformation.
Increasingly doctors are looking at depression as an inflammatory reaction, rather than a standalone neurological disorder — and in some cases depression may even be exacerbated by an allergic reaction. This theory could lead to never-before-prescribed methods that can be used in conjunction with traditional antidepressants to combat inflammation. This new understanding of depression could even help us to find new “cures” for depression.
The relationship between inflammation and depression makes so much sense. Our body reacts to stressors by pumping stress hormones and inflammatory cytokines through the bloodstream. And it just so happens that people suffering from depression are loaded with high levels of inflammatory cytokines. This has led researchers to focus on fighting the inflammatory symptoms of depression, rather than the neurological ones. There may be some hope in the form of easily-accessible, over the counter methods, such as omega 3 and curcumin, that can help in conjunction with conventional depression treatment to improve symptoms (of course, never take anything without checking with your healthcare practitioner first!).
If depression is an inflammatory disease, then doing everything we can to counter the effects of stress, including longstanding stressors from any early life trauma or Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) we might have faced (don’t know what ACEs are yet? You can learn more here) can make a tremendous difference. The good news is that this means there may be more ways than we ever thought possible to achieve recovery, and better brain health. Trauma-based approaches to healing — which I’ve detailed in Childhood Disrupted — can all help counter inflammation and thus ease symptoms.
One of the most beautiful and profound descriptions of depression I’ve ever read comes from writer Andrew Solomon’s book The Noonday Demon. Solomon (whose newest book, Far From the Tree, has just been released in paperback) shares his insight into depression in this powerful TED talk.