The riveting story of microglia-the "white blood cell of the brain"-from the scientists who discovered its dual capabilities to harm and heal, to the cutting-edge treatments emerging for a variety of brain diseases, including depression and Alzheimer's. Until recently, microglia were thought to be the boring housekeepers of the brain, helpfully pruning away dead cells. But science now understands them to have a terrifying Jekyll and Hyde control over brain health. When triggered, they morph into destroyers, causing a wide range of issues. Under the right circumstances, however, microglia are indeed angelic healers, making repairs in ways that reduce symptoms and, now that we understand their true role, could one day prevent disease. A fascinating behind-the-scenes account of the science that identified microglia as our neurological immune system, The Angel and the Assassin also explores the promising medical implications of this game-changing discovery. Award-winning journalist Jackson Nakazawa (who herself has health issues explained by microglial behavior) follows three patients as they seek to reduce their psychiatric and cognitive issues through new treatments. Giving new meaning to the mind-body connection, these discoveries could rewrite psychiatry and medical texts as we know them. The Angel and the Assassin stands to change everything we thought we knew about how to heal our bodies and our brains.
The Angel and the Assassin
AuthorJackson Nakazawa, Donna
Publication Date2021-01-19 00:00:00
PublisherPenguin Random House