January 20, 2022

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Muriel Lezak, Main Authority on Mind Accidents, Dies at 94

Muriel Lezak, Leading Authority on Brain Injuries, Dies at 94

She added, “As my profession developed, it was enjoyable; he wore me like a rose in his buttonhole.”

Dr. Lezak labored at clinics and taught psychology at Portland State Faculty (now College) and the College of Portland from 1949 till she started her 19-year tenure on the V.A. hospital in 1966. In 1985, she left to show on the Oregon Well being & Science College, the place she was a professor of neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry till 2005. She lengthy had a personal apply, and he or she continued to see sufferers till a couple of years in the past.

As early as 1982, Dr. Lezak sounded an alarm in regards to the influence of head accidents incurred by athletes; in 1999 and 2001, she was an creator and researcher of research that discovered cognitive impairment in novice {and professional} soccer gamers attributable to repeatedly utilizing their heads to hit the ball. She and Erik Matser, a co-author of each research, warned of second-impact syndrome through which a seemingly innocent blow to the pinnacle could cause a severe damage.

“I’d say that anyone below the age of 18 shouldn’t be heading,” she told The New York Times in 2001. “I believe there’s some dangers you simply don’t take, as a result of in the event you do have injury to the mind, there can be some residuals, they usually received’t go away.”

She was additionally an professional witness in numerous authorized circumstances, together with one in 2011 through which she concluded that Gary Haugen, a twice-convicted assassin who was sitting on dying row in Oregon and wished to be executed, had a “delusional dysfunction that makes him incompetent to be executed.” Mr. Haugen mentioned he hadn’t given his permission to make use of the outcomes of Dr. Lezak’s examination as a part of his protection attorneys’ effort to dam his execution.

Dr. Lezak is survived by her daughters, Anne and Miriam Lezak, and 9 grandchildren. Her son, David, died in 2014. Her husband died in 2006.

In her interview with Dr. Haaland, Dr. Lezak recalled that earlier than her textbook was printed, sufferers with mind problems and dysfunction got a battery of ordinary exams by technicians, who gave the outcomes to a psychologist.

“God forbid the psychologist ever actually noticed the affected person!” she mentioned. “My ebook emphasised specializing in the affected person and doing what was acceptable for the affected person, not the check purveyor.”

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