June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month: Two Books to Consider

I just learned that this month is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Not so coincidentally, I have been reading two books that address these issues. Here are two mini-reviews, which I will follow up with a focus on food and the brain in a future posting.

Having watched Dr. Amen on PBS with his talk on memory and mental health (“Memory Rescue”), I decided to read some of his books. (The inside of the book lists 20!) The first one is Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, which was first published in 1994 and has been updated twice. Dr. Amen is a clinical neuroscientist, psychiatrist, and brain-imaging expert who heads the world-renowned Amen Clinics. His website is www.amenclinics.com, which contains information and resources for optimizing your brain.

Part One introduces the reader to brain imaging, his specialty I believe. Just as a medical doctor uses tests (X-rays, CT scans, etc.)  to “see” inside a patient’s body, Dr. Amen uses single photos emission computed tomography (SPECT) to “see” inside a patient’s brain. This section also includes 12 principles to change your brain as well as your life. Here are a few, in the author’s own words, with photos of the brain using SPECT:

Your brain is involved in everything you do and everything you are….
Your brain is the most amazing, energy-hungry organ in the universe.
Looking at the brain gives us the opportunity for many powerful insights not possible by just listening to symptoms alone.

Part Two discusses and explains the brain systems themselves and looks at love and depression, anxiety and fear, worry and obsessiveness, boosting memory, and much more. This is a very comprehensive section.

Part Three is called The Brain Warrior’s Way and includes The Brain Warrior Diet. He lists 52 Brain Superfoods, which I will post separately in a few days, because the list needs its own posting. Continue reading “June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month: Two Books to Consider”

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