National Prescription Take-Back Day is occurring this Saturday, April 26, between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM (in all time zones).

Safely and conveniently dispose of your unwanted over-the-counter and prescription medications at one of the many collection sites around the country!

 
 

 
 

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A new study published in the Journal of Menopause showed that grandmothers who care for their grandchildren one day per week have a better chance of preventing cognitive decline and reducing their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

For the study, 186 postmenopausal Australian grandmothers took three different tests to measure cognitive performance in the areas of working memory, processing speed, and executive functioning (ability to plan ahead).  The women also answered questions to determine whether they believed that their own children had been especially demanding of their time and energy over the past year.

The researchers found that grandmothers who cared for their grandchildren just one day per week performed better on the tests that measured working memory and processing speed.  Conversely, those who cared for their grandchildren five days per week or more did significantly worse on a test that measured attention, working memory, and processing speed.

“We know that older women who are socially engaged have better cognitive function and a lower risk of developing dementia later, but too much of a good thing just might be bad,” said Dr. Margery Gass, Executive Director of the North American Menopause Society.

I love my grandchildren more than words can describe—they are the #1 reason why I choose to take care of my brain the way that I do.   However, I agree with the researchers: too much of a good thing may be bad.  Caring for young children can be exhausting and may put grandparents at greater risk for a wide variety of stress-induced health problems, such as cognitive decline.

When you do spend time with your grandchildren, engage them with activities that involve new learning and physical exercise. Having fun in these ways will boost brain blood flow and oxygenation while encouraging the growth of new brain cells and connections—a winning outcome for all!

At the Amen Clinics, we want to help you learn more about your brain and how to feel better.  Call us today at 1-888-208-2057 or tell us more to schedule an appointment.

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There is no question in my mind that ADD/ADHD is just as common in older adults and seniors as it is in children and teens.  In fact, my oldest patient with ADD was 94 when she came to see me!  I had seen three generations of people in her family: her son, grandson, and great-granddaughter.  When I asked her why she wanted to be evaluated, she said that she wanted to be able to finish reading the paper in the morning.  No matter what your age, targeted ADD treatment will enhance your quality of life—something that everyone deserves!

When adult ADD is left untreated, it often leads to chronic stress, social isolation, anxiety, and depression.  A life full of chronic stress will decrease brain function over time, and according to the Alzheimer’s Society, around 60% of people with mild cognitive impairment will go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

If you or an elder loved one is showing symptoms of ADD, take our free online questionnaire to learn more about whether ADD is likely, and if so, what you can do about it.
 
10 Signs of Adult ADD:

  1. Poor sustained attention span for reading, paperwork, etc.
  2. High susceptibility to boredom by tedious material
  3. Frequent lateness for appointments/work
  4. A tendency to misplace things frequently
  5. Poor organization and planning
  6. Procrastination until deadlines are imminent
  7. Restlessness, trouble staying in a confined space (not a phobia)
  8. Impulsive decision-making, frequent job changes
  9. Failure to listen carefully to directions
  10. Poor performance at work, despite abilities

 

 
Click here to see what each type of ADD/ADHD looks like on SPECT brain scans.
 
 
Larry’s Story:

Larry, 62, was experiencing a great deal of marital conflict and was on the brink of divorce.  His wife complained that he never talked to her, was unreliable, never finished projects that he started, and that he was very negative. He tended to be moody, tired, and disinterested in sex.

Related:  The Big O – What Does it Require?

As a child, Larry had mediocre to poor grades in school, and as an adult he went from job to job, complaining of boredom.

Larry was referred to me by his marital therapist, and rightly so: Larry’s SPECT scan showed decreased prefrontal cortex activity and increased activity in the deep limbic system of his brain.  Larry had Limbic ADD, with problems that looked like a combination of ADD and mild, chronic depression.

Seeing his scan immediately took away the stigma and convinced him of the need for treatment. He took my recommendations and started on an intense aerobic exercise program, changed his diet, and began taking three brain-directed dietary supplements to support his overall brain health, his mood and his natural ability to focus. Larry noticed improvements within a month’s time and the couple progressed quickly in marital therapy.  Last time we spoke, they told me that they were happier than when they first were married!
 
 
In this video, Dr. Nelson Bennett discusses adult ADD treatment using The Amen Clinics Method, which treats the whole person, reaching far beyond the use of stimulant drugs alone.

 
At the Amen Clinics, we want to help you learn more about your brain and how to feel better. Call us today at 1-888-208-2057 or tell us more to schedule an appointment.

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A couple of weeks ago, my colleagues and I shared a hearty chuckle over a study that used voodoo dolls to measure and predict the phenomenon of being “hangry” – when hunger and anger merge into one volatile emotional state.

Leaning on the theory that people are most comfortable showing aggression toward those they are the closest to—such as intimate partners—researchers attempted to measure a connection between low blood sugar glucose and aggressive impulses.

“We need glucose for self-control … Anger is the emotion that most people have difficulty controlling,” said Brad Bushman, Ohio State University psychology researcher and lead author of the study.

The researchers studied 107 married couples for 21 days.

  • Each participant’s blood sugar glucose was measured every evening.
  • To measure aggression, participants competed against their spouse on a 25-trial task in which the winner blasted the loser with loud noise through headphones.
  • To measure aggressive impulses, participants stuck between 0 and 51 pins into a voodoo doll that represented their spouse, depending on how angry they were with their spouse that evening.

As expected, the lower the level of glucose in the blood, the greater number of pins the participants stuck into the voodoo doll, and the higher intensity and longer duration of noise participants set for their spouse in the headphones.

Although using voodoo dolls in a study sounds silly, I do not intend to downplay the serious intentions of the researchers.  This study was performed to investigate whether or not low blood sugar could be a contributing factor in violence between intimate partners—a very worthy cause indeed.

Your brain is the most energy-hungry organ in your body and uses 25% of the calories you consume. To prevent getting “hangry” and putting your relationships at risk, keep your blood sugar balanced by eating small meals that contain a little bit of protein every few hours.  When you do eat carbohydrates, keep them low-glycemic and high-fiber.

If you would like to learn more about how to eat right to think right, based on your personal brain type, become a member of Brain Fit Life, my new online brain-enhancement program and community!

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After nearly 30 years of being a psychiatrist, I find myself recommending natural treatments such as exercise, specific diet plans, and nutritional supplements more and more.

Because most Americans do not eat with brain health in mind, and the quality of our food is not what it once was, we (at the Amen Clinics) believe that the addition of brain-directed supplements will support your best physical and mental energy levels, making it easier for you to make great decisions about how to care for your brain and body, every day.

Certain nutrients, like omega-3 essential fatty acids from fish oil, play such an important role in brain and body health that I suggest most people take them every day, regardless of their brain type or age.

EPA and DHA (the omega-3s found in fish oil) are concentrated in the brain and are important structural components of brain cells.  Our bodies do NOT manufacture omega-3s on their own, which is why these fatty acids are called essential.  We must obtain enough omega-3s from foods, yet most people do not get nearly enough.

In fact, the average American adult consumes less than 1 gram of omega-3s per day, when we should get around 3-4 grams!

 

7 Reasons to Nourish Your Brain with Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may:

  1. Support a healthy response to inflammation in the brain and body*
  2. Support healthy cognition and overall brain function*
  3. Support a natural sense of well-being and positive mood*
  4. Support focus and attention*
  5. Support learning and memory*
  6. Support your ability to get good-quality sleep*
  7. Promote healthy aging (particularly DHA)*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

If you believe that you or your family may be lacking sufficient omega-3 fatty acids, reach for these foods first.

Related:  19 Best Brain Superfoods

At the Amen Clinics, we want to help you learn more about your brain and how to feel better.
Call us today at 1-888-208-2057 or tell us more to schedule an appointment.

Posted in Brain Health and Wellness, Brain Health Problems, Nutrition | Leave a comment