We are just scratching the surface on brain research. The power of the brain is absolutely awesome. Dr. Amen is a leader in this field and this book is a testimonial of his research results. Alzheimer’s, Dementia and depression are all horrible diseases that really do not get much attention yet they destroy lives. IMHO, Dr. Amen’s research will continue to bridge the gap and hopefully help people reduce their chances of getting these diseases.
Why is this important to me?
My goal in doing this book summary is to provide value because I do not want to waste your time. A picture is worth a thousand words. If you were to look at two brain SPECT images comparing heavy alcohol use with Alzheimer’s, they would both look like Swiss cheese. A normal brain SPECT scan looks whole. What this is depicting are areas of non-activity in the brain.
The effects of alcohol use and Alzheimer’s look very similar. Brain health is directly tied to overall health. The brain uses 30% of the energy consumed by your whole body and through proper nutrition and exercise, we can enhance brain health.You may find more information at head scan for headaches.
Use Your Brain to Change Your Age is a collection of real patients and real results. These patients typically were overweight and had horrible diets. We will examine the what, why and how to brain health. I think this title is telling because most people are pretty vain when it comes to age and if it helps sell books then so be it. This book needs to be read and taught to the masses. The problems with our sick care system are only getting worse and the real solution lies with the individual taking control of their own health. This book is a great stepping stone in that direction.
What is it? In particular, I am talking about SPECT imaging. Dr. Amen uses brain imaging to show his patients their brains vs. a normal brain. A normal brain SPECT scan shows a solid brain in all directions. This signifies brain activity. If the scan looked to be filled with holes then those holes represent non-activity centers in the brain. Additionally, brain health typically can be reflected on the outside. Obesity has a major negative effect on the brain. Most of the patients Dr. Amen profiles in the book were overweight and had negative looking brain scans. Dr. Amen argues that your brain health can be enhanced and effectively reverse aging. Aging in this sense is sharpness of mind and body. One way to be younger is have more energy and increase your activity. These are looked at in the how to section.
- Why is it important? The answer to this question is self-evident unless you want to die a horrible death. Brain disease is hard on the patient and really hard on their families. The responsibility for your health falls on your shoulders. Most people are looking for a miracle drug or somebody else to take care of them. This is not going to work and has not worked in the past.
- How does it work? Dr. Amen goes into great detail on the how to but for the sake of time let me summarize the majors. First, diet is a key component to brain health. Dr. Amen recommends low Glycemic foods which he details in the book. For simplicity, eat vegetables and cut down on sugar/junk food, alcohol and soft drinks. Drink a lot of water and increase your daily activity. Exercise is a big deal and has a positive effect on brain health. The brain runs on Glucose and Oxygen so if you increase you oxygen intake through exercise and activity, your brain will benefit. Also, protect your head. If you do high impact sports then wear a helmet. Dr. Amen has worked with several NFL players and the damage to their brains is significant. Through diet, exercise and in some cases Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, he has been able to improve brain function significantly. The brain is a muscle so it needs to be exercised as well. Continuous learning is critical for proper brain function.
Read this book. The How To’s are very straight forward and easy to do. One thing I recommend for all the people who work out of their house and have a treadmill, set up a treadmill desk and work from there. If you work 8 hours per day then work for 2 hours on the treadmill at a slow walking pace. This will increase circulation, reduce inflammation and increase oxygen to the body.
I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is brain health affects everything. One quick way to enhance brain health is increase your activity and change your diet. Start slow and do something once per month. Also, if you are not a believer in continuous learning then change that belief otherwise you will be left behind. Use web sites like the KHAN Academy to enhance your learning. A simple 10 minute video per day can help.