Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined. The choice is hers if she can go on.
February 12 is just another day in Sam's charmed life, until it turns out to be her last. Stuck reliving her last day over and over, Sam untangles the mystery around her death and discovers everything she's losing.
In the throes of a quarter-life crisis, Megan panics when her boyfriend proposes, then, taking an opportunity to escape for a week, hides out in the home of her new friend, 16-year-old Annika, who lives with her world-weary single dad.
Chloë Grace Moretz,
The film follows the harrowing experience of a writer struggling with a rare neurological disease from when she first suffers symptoms to the many attempts at diagnosing it and the eventual discovery of the real cause of her illness. Based on the book, 'Brain On Fire', the true story of Susannah Cahalan, a journalist for the New York Post.Written by
Let me preface by stating I am a doctor who has devoted the last 10 years of my career to a closely related condition called PANDAS/PANS, which produces symptoms like Susannah's but in school-aged children. I know the real Dr. Najjar well and we refer patients to one another.
I think the movie must be judged on the public service it provides as much as a work of cinematic art.
I think the movie does a good job trying to depict what is happening in the head of Susanna as the disease takes hold. It tries to depict auditory hallucinations and epileptic phenomena, which only a small percentage of viewers have experience with. Just imagine the terror a person walking the busy, noisy streets of Manhattan must experience while experiencing intense auditory and visual hallucinations. The sad truth is, there are many many homeless people in big cities who are experiencing this every day.
The particular condition Susannah has is "rare", but there are thousands of people with the category of disease to which it belongs - so called "autoimmune encephalopathy" (AE). I think the movie shows a sharp contrast between 20th century psychiatry (psychoanalysis, drugs) and 21st century psychiatry, where a few pioneers like Najaar are actually looking for root causes.
Just to give you an idea of the importance of this condition, Columbia University Vagelos School of Medicine held a two day conference this past March on AE and PANDAS/PANS. I can tell you that EVERY person with a sudden change in mental status, with no prior history of the same, and no simpler explanation MUST be evaluated for AE and, in children, for PANDAS/PANS.
It just might save them for a needless lifetime of visits to the Cuckoo's Nest.
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