The Changing Brain: Alzheimer's Disease and Advances in Neuroscience

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (24) from $1.99   
  • New (10) from $4.32   
  • Used (14) from $1.99   


In The Changing Brain, Ira Black tells the fascinating story of modern neuroscience. A rich, multifaceted tale spanning a century and taking place on multiple continents, it moves from Fascist Italy, with the discovery of nerve growth factor (NGF) by a young scientist working secretly in a makeshift laboratory in her bedroom, to current experiments in which transplanted, laboratory-grown cells lead to recovery and function in damaged brain regions. In the mid 1990s, a revolutionary new conception of the brain emerged—instead of the traditional view that the brain's role in perception, memory, learning, and emotions was based on a static, non-renewable network of brain cells and connections, research revealed that the human brain is an ever-changing, fantastically complex system that is continually being shaped and reshaped by a subtle interplay of genetic clues and life experiences.

To bridge the gap between abstract concepts and real-world experience, Dr. Black draws upon his expertise as a clinical neurologist to provide a dramatic account—the fictionalized story of a successful investment banker named Enoch Wallace and his battle with Alzheimer's disease—that vividly illuminates the narrative. From his first fleeting memory lapses to his final descent into dementia, each step in Wallace's decline becomes a window into another aspect of brain function and the latest groundbreaking research in neuroscience.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An intriguing scientific thriller that, like all good thrillers, weaves multiple plots....The parallel telling of clinical and scientific tales at its best breathes life, personality and clinical relevance into the neuroscience."—Nature Neuroscience

"Black probes the horror of brain disease, scrutinizing the cellular dynamics that trigger it and surveying the therapies used to combat it. But the scientific analysis of synaptic failure does not obscure the human pathos: a poignant account of one man's descent into the Alzheimer's abyss serves as the narrative thread for the whole book and lends emotional resonance to Black's biochemistry."—Booklist

"Dr. Black is the ideal guide to lead us through the bewildering story behind the recent revolution in neuroscience. We are at the dawn of a new age of the brain and the central nervous system that is nothing short of miraculous. Dr. Black is an inspired physician, an inspired writer, and his book is an inspiration to us all." —Christopher Reeve

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195156973
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Ira B. Black, M.D., is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, New Jersey. He is a past president of the Society for Neuroscience of North America and is currently Chairman of the Society's Public Information Committee. His pioneering research in neuroscience has earned him numerous awards and honors including the Jacob Javits Award from the National Institutes of Health, the Levi-Montalcini Award, and the McKnight Award.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface: The Constancy of Change
Ch. 1 The Brain Connection 3
Ch. 2 The Survival Signal 23
Ch. 3 How to Live in the Brain 49
Ch. 4 Families 77
Ch. 5 Death and the Brain 99
Ch. 6 Brain Birthdays 123
Ch. 7 Brain Glue 149
Ch. 8 The Brain Captures Time 163
Ch. 9 Growth that Kills 199
Ch. 10 The Brain as a Renewable Resource 219
Epilogue: Enoch's Endgame 239
Afterword: Lest Ye See Miracles 243
Notes 249
Index 257
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)