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May 18, 2022 @ 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Please join us, Alison Kenneway and Kim Noble, RNs from the Kennebunkport Public Health Department on Wednesday, March 16 @ 9:30 am (or via Zoom if you cannot make it in) to identify ways to improve healthy choices and overall well-being.  For the month of May, A Molecule Away from Madness by Sara Peskin will be discussed.   Please call the Library to get on the list (967-2778).  Not able to read the book before the discussion, please feel free to join us and learn more about this month’s book pick.  Help set the course for a healthy and safer you!


A neurologist looks at how “the very molecules that make our brains work can also co-opt our personalities and destroy our ability to think.”  Peskin has been a firsthand witness to the suffering of Alzheimer’s patients she has been powerless to cure. In this book, she delves into the three known molecular causes of cognitive decline. The first includes DNA mutations, like those present in Huntington’s disease. Nancy Wexler, a Huntington’s sufferer and medical scientist, was one researcher who worked tirelessly to discover the exact nucleotide sequence of the Huntington’s gene. This breakthrough led to an experimental drug that, as of 2018, proved 85% successful in short-circuiting the mechanisms responsible for setting Huntington’s in motion in those predisposed to the disease. Peskin then examines how protein molecules that the body creates to defend against infection can attack brain cells, as in the case of a young woman thought to be having a psychotic break. Doctors instead discovered that protein antibodies her own body created were responsible for her cognitive dysfunction. Outside of the body, a group of small molecules Peskin calls “invaders” (which include “environmental toxins, illicit drugs, and pharmaceuticals that are not normally part of the human body”) can also wreak havoc, of the kind periodically experienced by Abraham Lincoln. Peskin speculates that his periodic bouts of aggression resulted from ingesting “blue mass,” a mercury-based medication. The author further suggests that the key to succeeding against all cognitive disabilities in the future will be to understand the particular kind of molecular abnormality afflicting a given patient rather than assume that brain diseases like dementia function the same way in different people. This readable and well-researched book will undoubtedly satisfy those seeking the nature of neurological dysfunction and the most current research being done in this field, with added appeal for anyone with a loved one suffering from brain disease. [Good Reads]



May 18, 2022
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
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Louis T. Graves Memorial Public Library @ 18 Maine St, Kennebunkport, ME 04046, USA
18 Maine Street
Kennebunkport, ME 04046 United States
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Mary-Lou Boucouvalas, Library Director
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