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The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

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Sonya Sternlieb

on 18 December 2013

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Transcript of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
The relationship between music, the arts, and a damaged brain
I see a river... and a little guest house with its terrace on the water. People are dining on the terrace. I see coloured parasols here and there..."
He thinks he has done well, and then proceeds to put his wife's head on his own, as a hat

can't identify faces, or facial expressions, a rose as a rose or a glove as a glove

Only able to do long tasks, eating, dressing, etc, as long as he is singing
Korsakov's Syndrome--The Lost Mariner
What makes you YOU?
"I haven't felt alive in a very long time"
Jimmy becomes capable of involvement in spirtuality, in the quiet contemplation of the garden, in music or art
"deeply attentive to the beauty and soul of the world, rich in all the Kierkegaardian categories--and aesthetic, the moral, the religious, the dramatic."
Cerebral palsy woman, blind from birth. Her hands are "useless godforsaken lumps of dough--they don't even feel part of me." A few years later, and she's sculpting objects and faces. What happened?
characterized by motor and vocal tics

due to "pathololgic involvement of the cortico-striatal (putamen/caudate)-thalamo-cortico" brain circuits with dysfunction of the neurotransmitter dopamine a key contributor to disorder.
smaller=greater tic severity

talk about this guy's situation
Ray didn't react well to Haldol--not until he'd had three months of therapy to make him realize why he'd be better off Tourette's-less
On Haldol for the first time, Ray loses his balance, timing, speed, and "preternaturally fast reflexes"
"Suppose you could take away the tics... What would be left? I consist of tics--There is nothing else..."
Ray's Tourette's Wasn't All Bad
He was (like many touretters) remarkably musical, and could scarcely have survived--emotionally or economically--had he not been a weekend jazz drummer of real virtuosity, famous for his sudden and wild extemporizations...so that the "sudden intruder" would be turned to brilliant advantage"
In Ray’s words: “ Having Tourette’s is wild, like being drunk all the while. Being on Haldol is dull, makes one square and sober, and neither state is really free…”
Cupid's Disease, or Fun Times with Neurosyphilis!
...that's how the 90-year old neurosyphilitic woman feels
and now put in the pictures from the book about the art of neurosyphilitics on and of Haldol p 105
Dopamine 1,5,=silent antagonist
Dopamine 2,3,4=inverse agonist
Just as Haldol affected Ray's musicality, so to does it affect patient's creativity.
Just as Haldol destroyed Ray's musicality,
so to does it deter the
neurosyphilitic's wild creativity
Fusiform gyrus
time passes...
"an open carton...filled with oranges."
The Autistic Artist
after some time in the hospital. Fish drawn from memory
Starts to speak, seizure activity reduced
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