How brain cancer gave a neuroscientist insight into mental illness

'I considered dying but I never thought that I would lose my mind,' said Barbara K. Lipska


The Gist   It's Not Just You

Barbara Lipska’s career as a neuroscientist did not prepare her to identify the dark effects of her own brain tumors diagnosed in 2015. There’s studying a damaged brain, and then there’s having one. Lipska is the author of   The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery.


My Conversation With Barbara Lipska, Author Of The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery

As a deadly cancer spread inside her brain, leading neuroscientist Barbara Lipska was plunged into madness—only to miraculously survive with her memories intact. In the tradition of My Stroke of Insight and Brain on Fire, this powerful memoir recounts her ordeal and explains its unforgettable lessons about the brain and mind.



As an accomplished neuroscientist who studied the human brain in detail, it’s astounding how Barbara Lipska’s own brain suddenly swelled and changed dramatically—and almost fatally. Looking back, Barbara reflects on her remarkable journey and recovery: “It is like going on a journey to a foreign country and then reporting on this.” 

WBUR Radio Boston

Neuroscientist Dr. Barbara Lipska Recounts Her Illness And Recovery

In 2015, multiple tumors in Neuroscientist Barbara Lipska's brain caused her to, in her words, go insane. Lipska's new book, "The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind," looks back on that experience and explores what her firsthand knowledge can teach us about mental illness and how it affects the human brain.

Public Radio Tulsa “Medical Mondays”

"The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery"

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Dr. Barbara Lipska, Director of the Human Brain Collection Core at the National Institute of Mental Health, where she studies mental illness and human brain development. 
She joins us to discuss her engaging and disturbing new memoir, "The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery."


A Neuroscientist's Journey to Madness and Back

In 2015, Barbara Lipska—a leading expert on the neuroscience of mental illness—was diagnosed with melanoma that had spread to her brain. Within months, her frontal lobe began shutting down and she began exhibiting symptoms of dementia and schizophrenia. 

NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

'The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind' Returns From Madness
One spring morning in 2015, Barbara Lipska got up as usual, dyed her hair and went for a jog in her suburban Virginia neighborhood.
But when she returned from a much longer than expected run, her husband Mirek was completely taken aback.

BBC World Service

I Studied the Brain but Lost My Mind
Barbara Lipska is a Polish born neuroscientist who carries out research at a bank of one thousand brains. 
But nothing prepared her for the challenge of her own brain going wrong. 
She had eighteen tumours and says she became a monster.