Cahalan was nearly committed to a psychiatric ward before an insightful physician diagnosed her with a newly discovered autoimmune disease that caused her body to attack her brain.

Cahalan fully recovered from the disease, and she has been praised for her ability to examine the battle waged to regain control of her mind, body and self. Cahalan is now the book editor at the New York Post, and her next book is a history of psychiatry. "Brain on Fire" has been made into a Netflix Original movie.

Cahalan’s presentation combines science, psychiatry and her personal story. Her appearance on Aug. 21 at 11 a.m. in Mary W. Sommervold Hall at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls is sponsored by the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, the medical school’s Graduate Medical Education program and Avera Health.

The program – scheduled to last 75 minutes – is free and open to the public. 

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