Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Aging Brain by Timothy R Jennings, MD

We're living longer but will we live into our later years in good mental health? Many of us are familiar with the heartbreak of dementia. Is there any way we can reduce our chances of getting dementia?

Yes. We are all getting older but that does not mean we have to suffer with dementia. “Dementia is not normal. Normal aging does not result in dementia. Dementia … is a disease state that may, with healthy choices, be avoided.” (177)

Dr. Jennings has written this book “to lead people to healthier lives, which slow the aging process and reduce the risk of dementia.” (45) It includes the latest scientific findings that Jennings summarizes into usable information we can put into practice. Some of the information is a bit technical but Jennings includes bullet points at the end of each chapter for easy review. He also provides bullet points of the actions we can take based on the material in the chapter. There is also a chapter near the end that is a review of all the major information.

There is a ton of useful information in this book that every baby boomer should know. Some things we can't change, like the effects from our childhood experiences and our DNA. But there is so much we can do to be healthy and go into old age with a better mental condition. Exercise is essential. Avoiding certain foods, like fast foods and blackened meats, while embracing the benefits of others, like fruits, vegetables, coffee and green tea.

I love reading and was glad when Jennings wrote, “...the healthiest mindset is one that loves to grow and advance in truth … rather than maintaining a mindset that believes it already possesses the truth and therefore resists any new insights.” (141)

I don't watch television and now I know why. “The brain cannot tell the difference between a real threat and a perceived threat.” (189) Watching stressful television programs (not educational ones) alters the brain structure and increases the risk for attention problems as well as dementia. (189)

I am very impressed with this book and highly recommend it. It has helped me understand why late-onset Alzheimer's disease is on the rise. It has also helped me understand what I can do to avoid it. Many suggestions I have already put into practice. Jennings notes that all the suggestions will not be applicable to everyone. The information provided will allow each reader to choose which to do and form their own action plan.

You can find out more about the book, read a chapter, and watch informative videos at https://www.agingbrainbook.com/.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Timothy R. Jennings, MD, has been in private practice as a psychiatrist and certified master psychopharmacologist since 1997. Board certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, he is a specialist in transcranial magnetic stimulation, a drug-free treatment for depression. Dr. Jennings is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and past president of both the Tennessee and Southern Psychiatric Associations. He is a highly sought after lecturer and international speaker, and the author of The God-Shaped Brain and The God-Shaped Heart. He lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Baker Books, 288 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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