Discover Magazine's Vital Signs: True Tales of Medical Mysteries, Obscure Diseases, and Life-Saving Diagnoses

Robert A. Norman. Skyhorse (Norton, dist.), $16.95 (280p) ISBN 978-1-62636-173-7
The 40 of the best medical case studies from Discover Magazine's most popular column reveal wide-ranging medical symptoms that defy common diagnosis. Each case is written and researched with expertise by a medical specialist, but accessible and lively language make the main appeal a general readership. Cases include those of autoimmune disorders such as the woman whose skin was falling off as a result of a drug reaction, and the brain injuries of a former fighter pilot, a patient with mild epileptic seizures, and a child "with headaches and vision problems." In one of the more memorable columns the unexplained death of a 35 year-old male is ultimately traced to metal toxicity from inhaling fumes from heating mercury while extracting gold and silver from old dental fillings to pursue personal wealth. These widely diverse studies of real individuals reveal the complexity of the human body and the constant challenges, frustrations, and limitations medical professionals face. Though these medical mysteries may entice like a real-life episode of House, this is not one for the faint of heart or for hypochondriacs. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 12/23/2013
Release date: 11/01/2013
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