Victoroff, Jeffrey Ivan
VICTOROFF, Jeffrey Ivan
ADDRESSES: Office—Department of Neurology, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 7601 East Imperial Highway, Downey, CA 90277.
CAREER: Medical doctor, 1982—; Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, associate professor of clinical neurology.
AWARDS, HONORS: Faculty Scholar Award from Alzheimer's Association.
The Wild Type, Crown Publishing (New York, NY), 1989.
Saving Your Brain: The Revolutionary Plan to BoostBrain Power, Improve Memory, and Protect Yourself against Alzheimer's, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Contributor to various journals, including Neurolgy, Archives of Neurolgy, and American Journal of Psychiatry.
SIDELIGHTS: Following in the footsteps of Robin Cook, Somerset Maugham, and a long line of literary-minded medical doctors, University of Southern California neurologist and neuro-psychiatrist Jeff Victoroff is the author of a 1989 suspense novel and a 2002 medical self-help book that offers plain-language advice on how readers can avoid the ravages of Alzheimer's Disease.
After attending graduate school at the University of Chicago and earning his medical degree at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, Victoroff completed his residency training in neurology and psychiatry at Harvard University. In his spare time, he liked to read, and having a vivid imagination, he decided to try writing a novel. The result was his first book, The Wild Type. Conceived in the late 1980s, it is a story about genetic engineering gone awry.
Set against the backdrop of the Maryland National Institute of Health where Victoroff once worked, the story's hero, Doctor Jason McCane, falls in love with fellow medical researcher Jennifer Darien and gets involved in a renegade military man's plot to replace humanity with a genetically engineered superspecies of his own creation. Reviewer Newgate Callendar of the New York Times described The Wild Type as "a mixture of the mad-scientist novel coupled with Tarzan of the Apes." In School Library Journal, reviewer Susan Penny wrote that "Victoroff has created characters and a setting . . . that will draw readers into the plot," and added: "Robin Cook fans will want to take note of this author's first novel." A Publishers Weekly reviewer expressed reservations about the credibility of the plot, but concluded that The Wild Type is "smoothly paced as it builds to an exciting conclusion."
Victoroff's second book, Saving Your Brain: The Revolutionary Plan to Boost Brain Power, Improve Memory, and Protect Yourself against Alzheimer's, is a product of his research into the effects of Aging-related Neurodegeneration of the Alzheimer's Type (ARNAT), the results of which he has also reported in various professional journals. Statistics indicate that ailments associated with aging-related brain degeneration are now the fourth most common cause of death in North America, and the rate is rising. In Saving Your Brain, Victoroff explains that most elderly people develop preconditions for the onset of ARNAT as part of the aging process and addresses why some people develop Alzheimer's and related diseases while others do not. A number of variables, including genetics, the environment, and diet, play a part in this phenomenon, and Victoroff offers some practical advice on how the average person can help keep his or her brain healthy by making some simple lifestyle changes. Among Victoroff'suggestions are eating a healthy diet, exercising both the body and the mind, reducing stress, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, and reducing exposure to neurotoxins, especially aluminum, which is found in everything from deodorants to drinking water.
Natural Health reviewer Judy Bass wrote, "What's intriguing about this engaging book is its central argument, which is that brain deterioration is not inevitable." Library Journal reviewer Karen McNally credited Saving Your Brain for being an authoritative yet very readable look at "the evolution and function of the human brain and the many things that can damage the delicate balances that enable us to think and function." Writing in Bookpage, Albert L. Huebner praised Victoroff for making a complex subject accessible to the average reader. "His presentation is by no means dry, precisely because the science is so fascinating," Huebner wrote. Reviewer Susan Pickens of the Decatur Daily concluded, "The author clearly states that the book is not intended to substitute for the advice of a good, competent doctor, but is a tool to enable the individual to become a better partner with the doctor in making the best choices."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
BookPage, July 2002, Albert L. Huebner, "The Aging Brain: Act Now So You Don't Lose Your Mind," p. 18.
Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 1988, review of TheWild Type, p. 1705.
Library Journal, July, 2002, Karen McNally, "The Memory Bible: An Innovative Strategy for Keeping Your Brain Young", p. 109.
Natural Health, August 2002, Judy Boot, "Discover the Way to True Satisfaction," pp. 90-91.
New York Times, May 7, 1989, Newgate Callendar, review of The Wild Type, p. 18.
Publishers Weekly, December 16, 1988, review of TheWild Type, p. 70; June 3, 2002, review of Saving Your Brain, p. 86.
School Library Journal, September 1989, Susan Penny, review of The Wild Type, pp. 284-285.
Decatur Daily Online,http://www.decaturdaily.com/ (July 28, 2002), Sandra Pickens, "How Your Brain Works and How to Keep It Working."*