A riveting story

One of my more fulfilling assignments at Dana Press was to edit Fatal Sequence, by Kevin Tracey, MD. In it, doctor beco

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Kevin Tracey, MD

mes both storyteller and teacher as Tracey shares his emotional account of Janice, an 11-month-old girl who seemed to be recovering from a severe burn injury but then suddenly died. In the process, his readers—including me—learn about severe sepsis and the connection between the brain and the immune system.

More than two decades after her death, Janice continues to inspire Tracey’s groundbreaking discoveries, and now Reader’s Digest has taken notice. The March issue includes an article called “Brain Powered: A wave of new advances shows how the mind affects health in ways we never imagined.” Among the featured findings is “How Your Mind Heals You,” which focuses on Dr. Tracey’s research.

Tracey has shed light on the “inflammatory reflex,” his term for the brain’s connection with the immune system via the vagus nerve. The findings suggest that we may be able to help ourselves fight disease, using only our brains. The Reader’s Digest piece is a concise look at exciting research—and the little girl who inspired it.

— Dan Gordon

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