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Head Cases: Stories of Brain Injury and its Aftermath

Head Cases: Stories of Brain Injury and its Aftermath, is a new book authored by Michael Paul Mason which describes his visits to Balad Air Base, 30 miles north of Baghdad which he terms the "brain injury capital of the world"  and the difficulties faced by returning service members and their families.

A review of this book was published in the New York Times on April 2, 2008.  The review describes the book as follows: "As a writer, Mr. Mason stakes out a position midway between Oliver Sacks and Oprah Winfrey.  He goes light on the science, presenting his case studies primarily as human dramas.  We meet the loved ones, revisit the hometowns, relive in minute detail the horrific accidents that caused the injuries." 

"A persistent theme runs through the book:  the poor treatment available to patients with crippling behavioral problems related to head injuries.  Lack of dedicated hospital units, bureaucratic red tape and obstinate insurance companies frustrate Mr. Mason and his subjects at every turn.  Many families, worn out by the system stand by helplessly as their brain injured relatives languish in psychiatric wards, heavily sedated, and hopelessly confused.

Head injuries, Mr. Mason notes, often described in medical records as "an insult to the brain."  It's an apt phrase,  But, the insults do not stop at the end of the hospital stay.

Michael Paul Mason,  will be speaking  on Wednesday, April 9th at 7 pm at, Book Culture, which is located at 536 W. 112th Street in Manhattan.

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