Review of “2 Weeks To A Younger Brain – by Gary Small”
Date: November 16, 2020
Best place to buy: Amazon.com
Price: $14.77 (paperback)
Gary Small, MD, Director, UCLA Longevity Center
An innovative program for a better memory and sharper mind. This book is for anyone intent on keeping his or her mind younger, this book contains a little of everything:
brain-boosting discoveries for a younger mind
brain training exercises
nutrition (proper diet for brain health)
stress management techniques
Forgetfulness begins earlier in life than was first thought
Misplacing your keys, lapses don’t just plague middle-agers and seniors; UCLA studies indicate that forgetfulness begins much earlier in life. Scientists can detect subtle changes in the brain that coincide with forgetting someone’s name at a party or coming home from the supermarket without the most important item — these are just some of the many common memory slips we all experience from time to time. But such cognitive with mental decline by the time we reach age 40, and our findings show that people as young as 20 already have memory problems.
In this unusual book, Dr. Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan translate the latest brain science into practical strategies and exercises that yield quick and long- lasting benefits. It will not only improve your memory, but will also strengthen your physical health by reducing your risk for diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The latest research confirms that there is a lot we can do to boost our memory and keep our brains young. After three decades of helping thousands of patients improve their memory and mental acuity, the author are convinced that our daily lifestyle habits are directly linked to our brain health. This book will show that it only takes two weeks to form new habits that bolster cognitive abilities and help stave off, or even reverse, brain aging.
If you commit only 14 days to 2 Weeks To A Younger Brain, you will reap noticeable results. During that brief period, you will have learned the secrets to keeping your brain young for the rest of your life.
Here are a few samples of what this book contains:
Brain-boosting discoveries for a younger mind
Discovery #1: Memory does not have to decline with age: There is a definite link between healthy habits and better memory. Heathy habits include regular physical and mental exercise, a nutritious diet, and stress control.
Discovery #2: Adopting healthy habits can make your brain younger in 2 weeks. What is a younger brain? One that has high-performing neurons with strong membranes, ample neurotransmitters and normal blood flow.
Discovery #3: Some videogames can subtract decades from your brain age. The benefits of brain training on memory skills can be quick and remarkable.
Discovery #4: Memory training can erase senior moments from your brain scan. Functional MRI’s can show brain activity from moment to moment, allowing us to “see our senior moments”. After practicing simple brain exercises for a brief period, our brains become more proficient. A repeat MRI scan will document improved brain efficiency.
Discovery #5: Lifestyle habits affect your brain more than your genes do. While it’s difficult to determine which form of the APOE gene influences who gets Alzheimer’s, other genes have been discovered (BDNF) which stimulate brain growth and keep the connections between neurons active and resilient.
Discovery #6: Listening to music can improve your mental abilities.
Discovery #7: A health sex life is good for your brain.
Discovery #8: A 10-minute conversation increases mental acuity.
Discovery #9: Reducing chronic stress improves brain function.
Discovery #10: A healthy body boosts brainpower.
This section contains memory exercises in the form of suggestions for creating stronger memories:
Make new information meaningful and memorable
Practice linking unrelated words
Name that face: Train your memory – practice linking names with visual images
Create a memory place to remember where you put your keys
Practice memorizing your “to-do” list
Use the “Focus and Frame” method to avoid “tip of the tongue” memory problems. Create a memory palace based on where things are in your house. Associate each item to be remembered with a place in your memory palace.
Jump-start your memory skills by using the STORY method to link all the words that need to be associated together.
Master everyday memory problems by practicing the two basic memory tools: FOCUS and FRAME.
Cut Stress to Sharpen Your Mind
This is your brain on stress – stress affects memory
Are you sending off stressed-out signals? Stress can lead to temporary memory loss. One or more episodes of severe trauma can lead to more persistent forms of anxiety, such as PTSD.
Top 10 stress-busting strategies: meditation, yoga and tai-chi, cutting back on multi-tasking, lighten your load and laugh, get a good night’s sleep, talk to youself to reduce stress, get organized, acupuncture, cultivate a positive attitude, ask for help.
Tackle mood problems, recognize major depression. If depression is left untreated, it often worsens memory abilities.
Stress can also cause high anxiety.
Get Smart with Brain Games
Things to remember when playing brain games: Set the game to “Beginner level”.
Mental exercises keep our brains young. Any brain activity that tweaks your neural circuits is good, and that includes: reading, traveling, painting, doing puzzles, learning languages, searching online, all can enhance your cognitive abilities.
Mental Workouts for brain fitness have become popular: there are all kinds of brain games, computer programs, games on websites. Here, we must keep in mind that too much technology can interfere: for instance, reliance on gadgets such as computers and cell phones, forcing us to multi-task.
Brain games that boost IQ include IQ test questions (some examples given), concentration card games, Shake Up Your Brain Training (word games, mazes, jigsaw puzzles), Sudoku or KenKen, Word Jumble, learning and remembering word lists, searching online, learning to play a musical instrument, studying a foreign language, Dakim brain fitness game, Scrabble, chess, riddles and logic games). Several other examples in this category are provided in the book.
Also included in this book
Chapters on the following:
Food for Thought – how to eat a Healthy-Brain diet
Keeping Fit for a Younger Brain – the value of physical exercise
Good Friends Make Happy Neurons – the value of socialization
Mind Your Medicine – (treating physical illnesses can save your brain). Vitamins and nootropics.
The 2-Week Younger Brain Program (described in detail)
Pros and Cons
I have been exposed to several of Dr. Gary Small’s research, including what I have learned from the UCLA Longevity Center (see my blogs entitled “How to Keep Your Memory Sharp As You Age” and “Memory Exercises For The Brain”). All his suggestions seem quite plausible to me. This book is chockfull of really good ideas for keeping your brain in tip-top shape. I have adopted quite a few of them and they have been helpful.
None that I can detect, except that you must read the book from cover to cover in order to discover all the good and unusual scientific discoveries that are in it.
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