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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Keeping our Brains in Shape: An Exciting Book

Sharpening Our Minds[i]

The book cited below is full of very important information about our lives particularly about having healthy brains. I will cite several passages that are most important to me but the whole book is wonderful.
Page 19  “The idea that psychiatric or neurological  “diseases” like depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and dementia can be effectively treated, not by administering psychoactive medication, but by altering dietary and lifestyle influences and repairing the body’s systems, which affect the entire Body-Mind System in which the brain functions, is resisted by conventional psychiatry and neurology.”  A basic summary

Pp.153-154   “Our bodies normally produce insulin to “food in our stomach particularly sugar.  Our genetic code evolved at a time when we were eating twenty teaspoons of sugar a year. This means that our insulin response is designed to handle vastly lower levels of sugar than what we consume today.
“Here is what too much insulin really does to your brain body and health:
v   It stimulates the growth of Cancer cells
v   It increases inflammation and oxidative stress and ages your brain, leading to what is called type three diabetes (also know as Alzheimer’s disease.)

Page 155  “A New York Times report on Alzheimer’s echoed research that makes it clear how powerfully our lifestyle impacts brain aging and how much we can reverse it:
         For years, the prevailing notion was that Alzheimer’s was a disease of brain-cell death…. But now, many researchers are asking   if that old hypothesis is correct.  If they are right, it may be possible to stop Alzheimer’s

Page 275 Effects of chronic stress over time:
v   Increases inflammation and inflammatory cytokines and immune response which have been linked to depression, bipolar disease, autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s

Page 57 lack of sleep has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease

Page 321  “ In a study of over 450 adults over 75 years old it has been shown that reading books, doing crossword puzzles, playing cards and board games, playing a musical instrument or dancing can all reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.”
“So mental workouts also are needed. That is doing something new and challenging with your brain.  You want to sprout new neural and wake up sleeping parts of your brain.”
What follows are some ideas that can get you started.”
v   Be creative—write in a journal, paint, make music dance
v   Seek out new ideas through attending lectures and local classes
v   Try a new hobby
v   Do math in your heard instead of on a calculator
v   Memorize all of you friends’ phone numbers and all your credit card numbers
v   Play word games, do crossword puzzles or Sudoku
v   Join a study group, or book club or start a conversation dinner where you pick a topic and everyone has to engage and share
v   Practice mental aerobics (see Resources for more recommendations on products you can use.

[i]  Hyman, Mark (2009) The UltraMind Solution, ISBN 978-1-4165-4972-7             (paper back;             ISBN 978-4565-6605-2 (e-book)

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