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Molecules of Emotion The Science Behind Mind Body Medicine


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About the Author

Dr. Candace Pert (1946-2013) was an internationally recognized neuroscientist and pharmacologist who published over 250 research articles. She was featured in Bill Moyers's book and PBS series Healing and the Mind, in PBS's Healing Quest, and in Marci Shimoff's Happy for No Reason. She was a significant contributor to the emergence of Mind-Body Medicine as an area of legitimate scientific research in the 1980's, earning her the title of "The Mother of Psychoneuroimmunology," and "The Goddess of Neuroscience" by her many fans.


Pert, a research professor at Georgetown University Medical Center, has been at the forefront of key discoveries in the fields of neuroscience and AIDS therapy, and was intimately involved in the discovery of the brain's opiate receptors in 1972. Her memoir describes some of her breakthroughs while providing very real insight into the processes and politics at the core of modern science. Pert is at her best here when she details the sexism that permeates the upper echelons of the scientific establishment, and when she explains why it is so difficult for women to be taken seriously and to succeed in this male-dominated field. She also does a very credible job of exploding the basic paradigm underlying much of modern human biology‘that the brain and the body are two distinct systems. Instead, Pert presents ample and compelling scientific evidence to buttress her belief that both are well-integrated parts of a finely tuned feedback system. Interestingly, she leaves her scientific objectivity and skepticism aside at the close of the book, embracing certain spiritual principles without demanding the type of data she worked so hard to gather earlier in her career. Her ego occasionally gets in the way of her message, as does her own brand of sexism (of one colleague, she says: "And he himself was as gorgeous as his slides‘a real hunk!") but, even so, this is an important look at what really goes on inside the human body‘and inside the scientific elite. (Sept.)

Caroline Myss, Ph.D. author of Why People Don't Heal and How They Can Candace B. Pert...has managed to take the study of the emotional connection to the body...and present this information in not only an understandable manner, but an enjoyable one.
Christiane Northrup, M.D. author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom Reading Molecules of Emotion filled me with molecules associated with joy, inspiration, and hope.
Dean Ornish, M.D. author of Eat More, Weigh Less Molecules of Emotion is a highly inspiring story of the search for the biochemical links between consciousness, mind, and body that also weaves in Pert's deeply personal search for truth. Highly recommended!
Lynn Harris New York Daily News Pick up the coolest, smartest, hardest-core mind-body book I've seen in a while.

Intrigue at the "Palace": back-stabbing, deceit, shunning, love affairs. This is not the plot to I, Claudius but the account Pert gives of her time working at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a.k.a. the Palace. Yet her time at NIH is not the central point here. Nor are the molecules of the title, although they do get due coverage. Pert offers mainly an account of her journey from a conventional scientist to one who also embraces complementary and alternative medicine. The journey is long and not without price. She was passed over for the Lasker and Nobel prizes for her work on opiate receptors while colleagues were recognized; she believes that her development of a potential AIDS drug was thwarted owing to scientific dirty pool as well as her being a woman in a man's world. Along the way, she took control of her career, her life, and her personal mission. This is an eye-opening book for anyone who thinks that people with medical degrees act more civil or are more altruistic than the rest of us, though Pert also shows that some do rise above the fray. Recommended for academic and special libraries.‘Lee Arnold, Historical Soc. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

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