top of page

DR. AMEN: LIFELONG BRAIN HEALTH AND PREVENTING COGNITIVE DECLINE

Advocating for Cognitive Wellness Across the Lifespan

HANNAH HALILI         JUNE 19, 2024

Revolutionizing holistic wellness

TRUE WELLNESS

Pioneering toxin-free skincare

ONESKIN

Extend your pets lifespan

CENTROPIX

Hormonal health for women's vitality

DR. MINDY PELZ

Health through gut wellness

DR. STEVE GUNDRY

Longevity through brain health

DR. DANIEL AMEN

LATEST STORIES

The CDC reports that the number of individuals living with Alzheimer's disease doubles every five years beyond the age of 65. By 2060, this figure is expected to nearly triple, reaching approximately 14 million people. Additionally, it's estimated that about 26% of Americans aged 18 and older—equivalent to approximately 1 in 4 adults—experience a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year.

Dr. Daniel Amen is acutely aware of these statistics and firmly advocates for the recognition of the brain as an organ that should be prioritized as much as physical health concerns. His journey into neuroscience began with a profound realization during his medical school years. Despite excelling as a neuroscience student, he didn't fully grasp the significance of brain health until he compared his own brain to his mother's, sparking what he terms "brain envy"—a determination to optimize brain health similar to other vital organs.

Over the last 35 years, Dr. Amen has dedicated himself to understanding optimal brain health, becoming a double board-certified psychiatrist. Through his work, he's encountered individuals, including celebrities like Justin Bieber, who initially overlooked the importance of brain health but experienced significant improvements upon embracing Dr. Amen's guidance. He invited TereZa Hakobyan-Lolli and Anthony Lolli into his home to speak about brain health in the Biohack Yourself Documentary.

When it comes to brain health, Dr. Amen outlines three fundamental principles. Firstly, he emphasizes the importance of caring for the brain—a vital organ often overlooked due to its invisibility. Unlike visible physical attributes like skin wrinkles or belly fat, the brain's internal nature makes it less visible and, consequently, less considered by many. Dr. Amen urges individuals to prioritize brain health, recognizing its significance similar to other bodily organs.

Secondly, he advocates for avoiding activities that harm the brain. Numerous detrimental factors can harm the brain, including poor-quality diets rich in sugar, inadequate sleep, excessive screen time spent playing video games or using gadgets up close, and prolonged indoor confinement without exposure to the outdoors. He emphasizes that a healthy diet, rich in nutrients and low in processed foods, is crucial for brain health.

Finally, he advocates participating in activities that foster brain health, including ensuring sufficient sleep and maintaining healthy eating habits. Emphasizing the importance of prioritizing sleep is crucial, as during this period, the brain undergoes a cleansing process, efficiently removing the accumulated waste from the day. An unhealthy brain can correlate with conditions like anxiety and depression. In fact, Dr. Amen realized the need to shift away from the paradigm of stigmatizing mental health many years ago.

Dayton Stone

Dr. Amen & The Producers of Biohack Yourself

“Instead of labeling someone as ‘mental’ and shaming them, we should refer to them as having brain health issues, elevating them rather than demeaning them,” Dr. Amen said in the Biohack Yourself documentary by Lolli Brands Entertainment. “Let's move away from the concept of mental illness and focus on promoting brain health. By prioritizing brain health, the mind is likely to follow suit.”

He says society overlooks the importance of mental well-being. Consider this: untreated depression in women doubles the risk of Alzheimer's disease, while in men, it quadruples the risk. “Seeking treatment doesn't necessarily mean resorting to psychiatric drugs; it means prioritizing a healthy and happy mind. I see happiness as a moral obligation, a notion absent from my upbringing in a Roman Catholic household in the San Fernando Valley. But why do I stress this? Because our happiness profoundly impacts others.”

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Dr. Amen correlates this to common human experiences like being married to an unhappy spouse, raised by an unhappy parent, or caring for an unhealthy, unhappy child. He says, “Happiness isn't just a personal matter; it's an ethical issue because of its ripple effects on those around us.”

This perspective seamlessly transitions into the realm of parenting, accentuating the importance of clarity in parental aspirations and the concept of bonding through dedicated time and active listening. Drawing from personal and professional experiences, Dr. Amen advocates for a balanced approach that combines presence with accountability in raising mentally resilient children. Dr. Amen emphasizes the significance of nurturing relational bonds as a means of positively influencing children and fostering mutual respect.

As you witness your children's development, Dr. Amen highlights a fascinating aspect: although brain cells themselves do not age, the aging of blood vessels can significantly affect brain function. Neglecting exercise or facing vascular problems can lead to deterioration in brain health. Thus, it's essential to maintain a healthy support network around your brain. Furthermore, the elimination of toxins is crucial, underscoring the importance of adequate sleep.

David Shutt

"I didn't think about my brain, until I saw it"

Taking care of your health, especially when it comes to dealing with infections, is crucial for maintaining clear thinking as well. COVID-19 has made this even more evident, as it significantly increases the risk of conditions like Alzheimer's disease, anxiety, depression, and OCD. What's striking is how COVID-19 affects the emotional brain, causing it to become activated and inflamed. But it's not just COVID-19; other infections like herpes, Epstein-Barr, or Lyme disease are also common culprits. Dr. Amen believes that infectious diseases will become a significant focus in psychiatry in the next few decades because they are major contributors to psychiatric issues.

Through his interdisciplinary approach, Dr. Amen seeks to empower individuals with knowledge and tools to enhance overall well-being and promote optimal brain health. He emphasizes the interconnectedness of brain health with physical and mental well-being, asserting that prioritizing brain health is essential for happiness, decision-making, and a sense of purpose. Dr. Amen's work emphasizes the importance of nurturing and preserving brain health for long-term cognitive resilience and overall well-being.

@biohackyourselfdocumentary

We care more about our boobs and bellies than our brains.

Revolutionizing holistic wellness

TRUE WELLNESS

Pioneering toxin-free skincare

ONESKIN

Extend your pets lifespan

CENTROPIX

Hormonal health for women's vitality

DR. MINDY PELZ

Health through gut wellness

DR. STEVE GUNDRY

Longevity through brain health

DR. DANIEL AMEN

LATEST STORIES

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Related Articles

Dr. Todd Ovakaitys

Why you should save the umbilical cord

Weber Medical

Multi-wavelength light therapy

MHI

The myths around testosterone

Dr. Steve Gundry

Health through gut wellness

ADVERTISEMENT

bottom of page