Book Assignment : The Brain On Fire

2030 Words Dec 3rd, 2014 9 Pages
Book Assignment: The Brain On Fire

Melissa Ames

University of colorado at Boulder

Case Study

Susannah Cahalan, a 24 year old, healthy and successful journalist for the New York post, experienced an acute onset of psychosis. Symptoms ranged from paranoia to seizures, which eventually led to a catatonic state. The onset of the female’s symptoms occurred when she became paranoid of a bed bug infestation in her home, yet after having her home exterminated there was no indication of bedbugs. Concern arose from her nonexistent appetite and severe insomniac behaviors. She began noticing her own erratic behaviors and shortly after experienced her first seizure episode. In search of an answer to reoccurring seizures she went to a physician who put her on Keppra (an antiseizure medication) and warned her the symptoms were due to stress and heavy drinking. The increasing paranoia developed into hallucinations, people plotting against her or speaking poorly of her. EEG and MRI results exhibited normal results; further indicating stress and alcohol withdraw. After being admitted to the NYU medical school EEG monitoring floor, examination showed tangential, disorganized, and temperamental behaviors. Several escape attempts later, placed Susannah in the more difficult patients category. Doctors suggested conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and cancer. She exhibited abnormally high blood pressure pointing to extreme concern.…
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