"How a Concussion Stole My Life and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get It Back"

Jun 10, 2015

On this installment of our show, an interesting discussion with Dr. Clark Elliott, an Associate Professor of Artificial Intelligence at DePaul University, who tells us about his new memoir, "The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get It Back." Back in 1999, Dr. Elliott suffered a concussion in a car wreck. His life changed instantly; he suddenly went from being a rising professor to a humbled man struggling to get through the day. At times he couldn't walk across a room, or open a door, or even name his children. Doctors told him he'd never fully recover. After eight years, however, he crossed paths with two brilliant Chicago-area research-clinicians -- one an optometrist emphasizing neuro-developmental techniques, the other a cognitive psychologist -- working at the forefront of what's known as brain plasticity. Amazingly, just weeks after beginning to work with these two, Dr. Elliott started to show signs of the person he used to be...before the auto accident. His memoir offers, as was noted by Kirkus Reviews, an "up-close view of living with the harrowing effects of a concussion.... With concussions from sports injuries making the news, Elliott's easy-to-read account of his experiences is a valuable contribution to a better understanding of the condition." And further, per Publishers Weekly: "Elliott's transformative tale will be invaluable for patients with traumatic brain injury, families, and caregivers."