While he doesn’t give updates about coronavirus on CNN, Sanjay Gupta is on his day job as a neurosurgeon. “I’ve had a long love affair with Brain,” he said.
“You’re a brain surgeon – what do you like to have in your hand?” Asked Dr. John La Puk, chief medical correspondent for CBS News.
Dr. Gupta replied, “I did the first opera operation on the brain, you know, about years ago, it was a mystical experience.” “You don’t believe that three and a half pounds is everything to us – all our pain, all our joy, all our memories, all our learning, everything.”
And in his spare time, Dr. Gupta has written a book about the brain called “Keep Sharp” – specifically, how to keep it in shape. [The book is published by Simon & Schuster, a part of ViacomCBS.]
Dr. Gupta. For Gupta, it’s personal: “In many ways, this story started when my grandfather developed Alzheimer’s. I saw him as a teenager and, you know, he really stuck with me. This has probably been a lifelong journey.” And understand that I can prevent it from happening to me and anyone else. “
More than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s, the most common cause of dementia.
Dr .. Look Pak said, “The biggest fear in my patients is to develop dementia. They will come in and say, ‘You know what? I can’t think of anyone’s name. I know them very well. I was inside. In the middle of a sentence, I lost my train of thought. ‘So, how do people know the difference between the changes that come with normal aging and the onset of dementia? “
Dr. Gupta said, “This is the # 1 topic of conversation in our home.” “It always happened because my parents always asked me this question. And now my wife and I are always asking each other this question: ‘Am I starting to forget more?’
“When something turns out to be unusual versus something common: people lose the key all the time. It becomes even more unusual when you don’t remember exactly what those keys are.”
It alters the changes in the brain that lead to Alzheimer’s disease that begin decades before symptoms develop.
“There’s a suggestion, OK, that if you decide to develop Alzheimer’s in the future, even if your blood vessels in your brain are open, if you do anything you can to keep your heart healthy, it will probably really get it going. Let it really be delayed? ” Asked Lapuk.
“I don’t think there’s a question now that we can say – and I don’t think we would have said this five, ten years ago – but there are some things we can do that could include lifestyle changes that have completely delayed the progression of dementia. Can, and vice versa. “
Dr Gupta said the key is doing activities that create “cognitive stores” in the brain – new nerve growth and areas of wiring that can pick up the slack if needed.
So, let’s get to that. Since there is no miracle cure on the horizon, what is the prescription to fight dementia?
Let’s start with the exercise. Put it this way: what is good for the heart is good for the brain.
Dr. Gupta said, “When you move, it’s almost as if you signal to body and mind, ‘I want to come here. I’m not ready to go!’ The brain, in particular, is out [are] These things are called neurotrophin; These good chemicals are a form of brain nutrition. “
“In the United States, many of us are going 100 miles an hour, but many of us don’t just sit and walk, while not moving.”
“You know, people keep saying ‘sitting is new smoking.’ Every time you sit down, say, ‘I do is needed Sit down ” and then just try and do normal movements throughout the day. It is so effective in terms of what we can measure the brain and what it will do to the brain. “
“And there are simple habits you can do – for example, take the stairs instead of the elevator.”
Dr. “It takes months, years to change the heart,” Gupta said. “Like the brain can change That”
How about diet? You’ve also heard about it: Eat less red meat, less processed food, more vegetables and fruits – especially Dr .. Gupta says, a kind of fruit: “They always say, ‘John,’ one day the apple doctor Keeps away. ‘I think when it comes to the brain, it’s the berries. Berries, in terms of what they can do for the brain and some of these chemicals they excrete, are probably one of your best foods. Will become one. “
Any berries? “Just about any berry. Dive into the berries!”
How about working directly on your thinking skills? Crossword puzzles? Video games? Does it work, if anything?
Dr. Gupta said, “I have nothing against crossword puzzles and video games and brain-training games and things like that. I think it can be great. We play crossword puzzles, you play the piano, you play it over and over again. ., And makes practice perfect.That’s absolutely true.But it is Change It builds resilience. You need change.
“So, I can’t just do crossword puzzles. The way I think about it is, if you can somehow get out of your comfort zone every day, you’ll probably use other real estate in mind.” Use frequently. Do something that scares you every day! Whatever the metaphor, whatever works, just do something. Different. Learn a new skill. I remember talking to these neuroscientists who said, ‘If you’re right-handed, eat dinner with your left-hand tonight.’
Getting better is another way to stay focused. There are so-called “waste collecting cells” that help remove toxins from the brain. And when you go to sleep, the memories of the day are processed.
Dr. Lapuk said, “Our knowledge of the importance of sleep has really changed over the years. It’s not just about letting our batteries recharge, is it?”
“Leep ning is a cultured activity that we spend doing a third of our lives,” Dr. Gupta replied. “The brain is a significantly more complex organ. When you sleep at night, it takes you through the day’s experiences and integrates them into memory. Why do we have experiences even if we don’t go to do the things we need to?” Remember them, right? We know that the brain constantly goes through this ‘rinse cycle’ at night. “
For one of the best ways to fight dementia, look no further than your friends and family.
“We know that social interaction is very important,” said Dr. Gupta. “We are social beings. We know that certain neurochemicals are released when we actually touch and look someone in the eye.
“The best thing you can do overall in terms of putting all this together for brain health is to walk fast with a close friend and talk about your problems.”
Why “With a brisk walk, you’re gaining movement. You’re doing it with a friend: you’re gaining social connection. It turns into this beautiful thing for a relationship, but also for the brain.”
Of course, coronavirus means close and personal friends are a little harder to see right now. But Americans began vaccinating against covid, which could come closer when we could pass the epidemic.
Dr .. Lok Puk asked, “What do people want to know, when we don’t go back, if not to normal, to normal? What do you think?”
“I think we’ll start to get people’s understanding back to normal as soon as possible, and I think it might be the middle part of the spring of Tuno, it seems more normal,” Gupta said. “Things will start to unfold. People will come out and much more.
“I have three teenage girls. I think they’ll be back to school next fall. I may be wrong, but it just seems like things are moving forward.”
So, as we wait to come out of isolation, here’s a New Year’s resolution for you: Think about doing something for your brain.
“Empathy and kindness, compassion – they do a lot for everyone’s brain, don’t they?” Dr. Asked Lapuk.
“They are the ultimate type of brain nutrition,” Dr. Gupta replied. “Every sight you see, every sound you hear, every touch you make, whatever you feel, whatever it may be, taste it – and then experience, experience what you have through empathy, through these connections with people – all to the brain. It is really good for the brain.
“That’s why we live.”
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A story created by Alan Golds. Editor: Ed Givnish.