Patient H.M- Luke Dittrich


In the 1930s Patient H.M was given a lobotomy by Dittrich’s grandfather William Beecher Scoville as a treatment for his debilitating epilepsy. This procedure led to damage to H.M’s memory which meant he could not form new memories. His case was important for the acquisition of knowledge about the brain and he spent the rest of his life being studied by scientists and doctors.


Patient H.M isn’t really what I expected at all. It was about him to an extent, you heard a bit about what may have led to his epilepsy, and parts of his story post-surgery were described, but really it was about those who worked round him. mainly the surgeon who operated on him. For a pretty well known story it’s kind of nice to have a different approach, and there did seem to be some things uncovered. However to actually learn about H.M it might not be the best book.

It did at times get a bit confusing because of jumping between people and times, but once I got used to it I could generally work out what was going on.

It was a really interesting book, and it covers more than just H.M’s case where it comes to neuroscience. We learn a lot about the history of neuroscience and neuropsychology and neurosurgery. It’s probably good for people with less technical knowledge but an interest.


Buy it:

Paperback (£9.99)

Kindle (£5.49)

Hardcover (£18.99)

1 Comment

Filed under Biography, health, medical, Memoir, non-fiction review

One response to “Patient H.M- Luke Dittrich

  1. I enjoyed this book, too. I am not a scientist at all, but I am always drawn to books that teach about science or medicine in accessible ways alongside a great story.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s