The first symptoms begin after just a few sleepless nights, with shaking, sweating and overwhelming anxiety.
They end only after months of agonising open-eyed deterioration when the victim finally falls into a coma-like state of exhaustion and then dies.
Fatal Familial Insomnia is a rare, inherited disease that has afflicted one noble Venetian family for centuries, striking at random and passing from generation to generation like a deadly dynastic curse.
The cause? A rogue protein called a prion, which is impossible to destroy and is also responsible for Mad Cow Disease and scrapie in sheep.
In this ground-breaking work of scientific detection, D.
T. Max pins down this most mutable and maddening of enemies and tells a story that is at once enlightening and spell-binding.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 336 pages
- Publisher: Granta Books
- Publication Date: 01/04/2008
- Category: True stories
- ISBN: 9781846270901