When I sat down in my attic to write THE ANGEL AND THE ASSASSIN: The Tiny Brain Cell that Changed the Course of Medicine, I never imagined that it would be so needed in our world! 2020 has been chock-full of adversity, uncertainty and distress on so many levels: the worst pandemic in a hundred years, millions facing economic uncertainty, global climate change, and mounting political discord.
The past decade has been a golden era in brain research, one in which scientists have offered extraordinary hope for today’s mental health crisis by rewriting our basic understanding of how disorders of the human brain develop, and how we might help prevent or ameliorate them. And they all come down to one tiny, elusive cell, called microglia (remember that name!), which turn out to be game-changers for mental health.
The Angel and the Assassin offers a deep dive into recent groundbreaking discoveries about the brain and how microglia link our mental and physical health. When we are facing external stressors, including viral infections or chronic emotional stressors, these cells can wreak havoc in our brain, sparking inflammation and a wide range of problems. However, under the right circumstances, microglia can be coaxed into becoming healers, able to repair the brain in ways that help alleviate symptoms ranging from memory loss and anxiety to depression.
This book offers more hope and promise for human healing than any other science I’ve ever reported on. Today, as we face a pandemic and unprecedented political unrest, we need, more than ever, to understand what helps and what harms brain health, and have new pathways for healing.
I am excited to announce that The Angel and the Assassin will be available everywhere in paperback format January 19, 2021. If you haven’t already, grab your copy here!
Click here to read the prologue: When the Body Attacks the Brain.
To learn more about the brain and the long-overlooked cells called microglia, check out these excellent press releases and podcasts about The Angel and the Assassin:
- WIRED Magazine, “The Tiny Brain Cells That Connect Our Mental and Physical Health”
- The Boston Globe OpEd, “From Lab to Clinic: Hope for Those Suffering from Depression”
- STAT OpEd, “Microglia: A New Target in the Brain for Depression, Alzheimer’s, and More?”
- Body of Wonder, “Friendly Fire: How the Brain’s Tiniest Cells Hold Hope,” hosted by Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Victoria Maizes
- Goopfellas Podcast, “What’s Driving our Brain,” hosted by Dr. Will Cole