The Second Brain: A Groundbreaking New Understanding of Nervous Disorders of the Stomach and Intestine (Paperback)
“Persuasive, impassioned... hopeful news [for those] suffering from functional bowel disease.” — New York Times Book Review
Dr. Gershon’s groundbreaking book fills the gap between what you need to know—and what your doctor has time to tell you.
Dr. Michael Gershon has devoted his career to understanding the human bowel (the stomach, esophagus, small intestine, and colon). His thirty years of research have led to an extraordinary rediscovery: nerve cells in the gut that act as a brain. This "second brain" can control our gut all by itself. Our two brains—the one in our head and the one in our bowel—must cooperate. If they do not, then there is chaos in the gut and misery in the head—everything from "butterflies" to cramps, from diarrhea to constipation. Dr. Gershon's work has led to radical new understandings about a wide range of gastrointestinal problems including gastroenteritis, nervous stomach, and irritable bowel syndrome.
The Second Brain represents a quantum leap in medical knowledge and is already benefiting patients whose symptoms were previously dismissed as neurotic or "it's all in your head."
"An original and excellently written book. Dr. Gershon has succeeded in making a scientific subject easy and pleasant reading. The basic science and potential clinical applications are up to date. Though the subject is serious, the witty remarks, clever analogies, and just the right amount of irony make it extremely entertaining." — Pasko Rakic, M.D., Sc.D., Yale University School of Medicine, Chairman, Section of Neurobiology
"Dr. Gershon spills his guts in an entertaining and highly informative book about how smart our gastrointestinal tract is. He writes with a fatherly love about his research and that of his colleagues, and engages our sense of wonder about something we almost never think about. Great any room reading!" — Ronald A. Ruden, M.D. author of The Craving Brain
“In The Second Brain, Gershon makes a persuasive, impassioned and, at times, downright lyrical case...the book succeeds in presenting an often grim and complex topic in a surprisingly witty and engaging manner.” — Jacqueline Boone, The New York Times Book Review
"This book. . . . beautifully, simply and accurately summarizes many difficult scientific concepts about the enteric nervous system in a manner that is so lively and engaging that you won't want to put it down." — Raj K. Goyal, M.D., Mallinckrodt Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and ACOS/Research & Development, West Roxbury VA Medical Center
"Mike has managed to take an obscure health related subject and make its scientific base palatable and interesting for the educated lay person. I am convinced that The Second Brain will be a winner in this new era of books about our bodies." — Robert D. Goldman, Ph.D., Stephen Walter Ranson Professor and Chairman, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Northwestern University Medical School
There has been no book by a scientist to explain "the little brain in the gut" to the public at large--none, that is, until now. Dr. Michael Gershon is a key player in this field of research. — David L. Wingate, DM FRCP, Prof. of Gastrointestinal Science, The Royal London Hospital
“An interesting treatise that records the rediscovery of the importance of the nervous system in the abdominal organs, this book provides an opportunity for lay readers to explore the fascination of the Second Brain and the scientists who discover its marvels...Dr. Gershon documents this new renaissance in enteric neuroscience.” — Michael Camilleri, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Physiology, Mayo Foundation, Gastroenterology Research Unit