Lystens Pioner

Lystens Pioner

In the 1950s, Tulane University researcher Dr. Robert Heath invented and experimented with deep brain stimulation. After being shrouded in controversy for decades, DBS is back as a known therapy for Parkinsons and a possible treatment for depression, chronic pain and other conditions. In her new book, Lone Frank explains what happened in the years when no one talked about...

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Title:Lystens Pioner
Author:Lone Frank
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Lystens Pioner Reviews

  • Anna

    Interesting and thought-provoking biography about a pioneer in medical science. I had no idea that deep brain stimulation was invented this early.

  • Anetq

    Lone Frank går som altid på jagt efter sig selv og vores selv - denne gang i den strømførende hjerne. Historien om Dr. Heath er kompleks og der er ikke nogen enkle svar på om hans forsøg med mennesker gik for vidt, om han er et misforstået geni eller måske bare en videnskabsmand hvis forskning gik imod tidens strømninger eller om han blev fældet af sine egne ambitioner.

    Men Heath var først til at regne ud, at man kan påvirke det menneskelige humør ved at sætte strøm til dele af hjernen, og dermed

    Lone Frank går som altid på jagt efter sig selv og vores selv - denne gang i den strømførende hjerne. Historien om Dr. Heath er kompleks og der er ikke nogen enkle svar på om hans forsøg med mennesker gik for vidt, om han er et misforstået geni eller måske bare en videnskabsmand hvis forskning gik imod tidens strømninger eller om han blev fældet af sine egne ambitioner.

    Men Heath var først til at regne ud, at man kan påvirke det menneskelige humør ved at sætte strøm til dele af hjernen, og dermed hjælpe nogle af de mest håbløse tilfælde af psykiske sygdomme. Det lyder ikke alt sammen stuerent nu om dage - men tiden taget i betragtning, så var præcis indsætning af ledninger og små strømstyrker (på stærkt plagede folk, der vitterligt ikke havde andre muligheder) jo en relativt nænsom behandling i sammenligning med den stærkt udbredte "behandling" lobotobi.

    Historien er interessant, researchen er solid og formidlingen fin - og alligevel føles bogen lidt uforløst. Måske bare fordi en klarere dom ville have været lettere?

  • Maria

    Endnu en velskrevet bog fra Lone Frank, som virkelig forstår at formidle. De narrative greb gør, at bogen fremstår som en spændingsroman med bonusinformation om den tidlige og nuværende forskning inden for dyb hjernestimulation, hjernekirurgi og neurobiologi som behandling af psykiatriske og neurologiske diagnoser. Jeg står tilbage med sympati for bogens hovedperson Robert Heath - eller måske snarere for hans livsprojekt.

    Mon ikke det også var Lone Franks hensigt.

  • Angela Woodward

    This is an absorbing biography of a forgotten figure in psychiatry, Robert Heath. Heath worked for years at Tulane exploring many applications of electrical stimulation of the brain, hoping to find a cure for schizophrenia and other mental ailments for which there were few humane treatments in the 1950s. Part of Lone Frank's story is her own discovery of this figure, and her evolving understanding of his work's moral complexity. Tulane barred her from viewing films and other material in its arch

    This is an absorbing biography of a forgotten figure in psychiatry, Robert Heath. Heath worked for years at Tulane exploring many applications of electrical stimulation of the brain, hoping to find a cure for schizophrenia and other mental ailments for which there were few humane treatments in the 1950s. Part of Lone Frank's story is her own discovery of this figure, and her evolving understanding of his work's moral complexity. Tulane barred her from viewing films and other material in its archives, and she traveled the world tracking down people who knew Heath. What eventually sank Heath's career is almost too bizarre to be believed. She gives Heath his proper context in a medical milieu that seems unforgivably arrogant and sure of its own rectitude.

  • Nancy

    This biography is framed as a bit of a mystery. Lone Frank is refused access to Tulane University's archives that contain the lab notebooks and papers of Robert Heath, a pioneer in deep brain stimulation. She persists and manages to meet many people who knew Dr. Heath and get access to a lot of interesting research material. I came away from the book with the sense that psychiatry was and still is a pretty messy field with some people are tremendously helped by some intervention while others who

    This biography is framed as a bit of a mystery. Lone Frank is refused access to Tulane University's archives that contain the lab notebooks and papers of Robert Heath, a pioneer in deep brain stimulation. She persists and manages to meet many people who knew Dr. Heath and get access to a lot of interesting research material. I came away from the book with the sense that psychiatry was and still is a pretty messy field with some people are tremendously helped by some intervention while others who seem to have the same problem find no help with that treatment. Is deep brain stimulation the answer for a number of problems? Experts in the field disagreed a lot and still do.

  • David

    I know a fair amount about this subject, am personally acquainted with two of the people she interviewed about contemporary research, and have a departmental colleague who uses tDCS in her studies, and I never heard of Robert Heath, so I guess I can endorse her claim that his pioneering contributions have been forgotten.

    I found the question of why that might be somewhat less interesting than did the author -- it's actually pretty normal for researchers, even if they had a substantial impact at t

    I know a fair amount about this subject, am personally acquainted with two of the people she interviewed about contemporary research, and have a departmental colleague who uses tDCS in her studies, and I never heard of Robert Heath, so I guess I can endorse her claim that his pioneering contributions have been forgotten.

    I found the question of why that might be somewhat less interesting than did the author -- it's actually pretty normal for researchers, even if they had a substantial impact at the time, to be unknown or little known 50-60 years after publication of their most important work. As such, all the speculation about this controversy or that feud or the other personality quirk caused his neglect seemed in my reading a bit beside the point, not to mention untestable [or untested at any rate -- i was curious what a more quantitatively oriented historian of psychology/psychiatry like Dean Keith Simonton might make of this material].

  • Chris

    Fascinating story of the neurologist who invented deep brain stimulation, then vanished (or was erased) from scientific history. In addition to the main narrative, the book's themes include the definition of personality, the dangers of hubris, and the evolution of medical ethics. Will be interesting to see Tulane University's response when this is translated into English and released in the United States.

  • Chris

    I read the Danish version (Lystens Pioneer) and was fascinated. Given my Danish reading comprehension, I need to read the English version to get all the incredible details.

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