Keep your brain young, healthy, and sharp with this science-driven guide to protecting your mind from decline by neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Throughout our life, we look for ways to keep our minds sharp and effortlessly productive. Now, globetrotting neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta offers “the book all of us need, young and old” (Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Code Breaker) with insights from top scientists all over the world, whose cutting-edge research can help you heighten and protect brain function and maintain cognitive health at any age.
Keep Sharp debunks common myths about aging and mental decline, explores whether there’s a “best” diet or exercise regimen for the brain, and explains whether it’s healthier to play video games that test memory and processing speed, or to engage in more social interaction. Discover what we can learn from “super-brained” people who are in their eighties and nineties with no signs of slowing down—and whether there are truly any benefits to drugs, supplements, and vitamins. Dr. Gupta also addresses brain disease, particularly Alzheimer’s, answers all your questions about the signs and symptoms, and shows how to ward against it and stay healthy while caring for a partner in cognitive decline. He likewise provides you with a personalized twelve-week program featuring practical strategies to strengthen your brain every day.
Keep Sharp is the “must-read owner’s manual” (Arianna Huffington) you’ll need to keep your brain young and healthy regardless of your age!
Guess I’ve never been really big on TV doctors or what they’re selling. I’m from the generation of Watkins and Fuller Brush products. Many of those old products were based on old tonics and elixirs that worked. Remember, Coca-Cola included minute amounts of cocaine up until 1929. You might have still been sick but no longer cared. (snicker)
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that the information we’ve grown old with is still, even glaring in the face of new, improved drugs, medicines, lightning-fast tests, machines, and improved systems of care, managed to come back to the same tried and true doctrine:
Five points to work on NOW
- Exercise, exercise, exercise
- Eat right; veggies, fruit—no sugar, refined white flour, nothing fun
- Keep challenging yourself, brain games (forget jigsaw puzzles), and learn something new
- Take the time (after the exercise I guess) to relax using yoga, tai chi, or the relaxation method of your choice—no distractions
- Cultivate your healthy relationships, whether long-term spouse, close friends, or volunteer, join a group—get yourself out there.
“Food for Thought: The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not…Mark Twain”
Alzheimer’s and Dementia–is it too late?
Few have not had these themes bombarding us since the advent of television or the internet. Dr. Gupta refers us to Dr. Internet to research information on Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other degenerative problems of the brain. It’s free.
Dr. Gupta cites the guidance as being scientifically based, but there is not much new information here. He talks extensively about Alzheimer’s and dementia. However, the bad news is that by the time you figure that out—obviously it’s in evidence—and your time for heading off the problem was possibly decades previous.
One type of glial cell, microglia, engulfs and destroys waste and toxins in a healthy brain. In Alzheimer’s, microglia fail to clear away waste, debris, and protein collections, including beta-amyloid plaques.*
Did he decide whether or not that’s an inheritable trait? Apparently, as you probably know already—they can identify the culprit cell. Does that mean the person with the evidence will have the disease? Not necessarily. It’s as clear as mud.
He talks about cognitive reserve. The big keys here are specific activities that extend to the brain functions of reasoning and problem-solving. Jigsaw puzzles don’t do that.
Okay, if not anything new, having it driven home again the importance of moving, moving, moving, and learning, keeping up social contacts (that includes you, my readers), and EATING right (duh), I’ve resolved once again to look into the Mediterranean diet. (Is this something you are doing? I’d love to hear some of your ideas for meals.) Writing these posts has provided a plethora of learning opportunities. And walking, riding our bikes in the winter? Probably not. But I’ve acquired a few exercise tools—now I need to supply the incentive.
He advises seeking sources of information that include tests and I jumped on my own (United) health insurance as I am aware they are big on health and prevention which led me to their version of “Brain Games.” Behind that is a link through AARP into “Staying Sharp” that provides a number of tests. Scary stuff! And some REAL brain tests and games. (My problem is accessing and holding the website.) Also, I discovered another great link with solid content, brainHQ, has a minimal free hook into a subscription.
Dr. Gupta narrates his own book and delivers it in a pleasant, albeit authoritative voice, often punctuating it with well-known celebrities and colleagues’ names as backup experts. I downloaded a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stocked library. You may get the same advice from myriad sources–many of which are free. These are my honest thoughts. Are you a Gupta devotee?
Genre: Memory Improvement, Cognitive Neuroscience & Neuropsychology, Aging & Longevity
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Listening Length: 10 hrs
Narrator: Sanjay Gupta MD
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Links: Keep Sharp [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Rosepoint Publishing: Four stars
Born in Novi, Michigan, The United States
October 23, 1969
(Librarian Note: There is more than one author with this name in the Goodreads database)
Sanjay Gupta is an American physician and a contributing CNN chief health correspondent based in Atlanta, Georgia. An assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine and associate chief of the neurosurgery service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, he is also a frequent guest on the news program Anderson Cooper 360°. “Charity Hospital” won a 2006 Emmy Award for Outstanding Feature Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast. From 1997 to 1998, he served as one of fifteen White House Fellows, primarily as an advisor to Hillary Clinton. Gupta currently publishes a column in TIME magazine. He is also host of House Call with Dr Sanjay Gupta. His book Chasing Life was a New York Times and National bestseller. As of January 2009, he has been offered the position of Surgeon General of the United States in the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama; the final vetting is currently under way. [Goodreads]
©2022 V Williams