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The 10 Biggest Mistakes People Make To Their Brains

Your brain controls your entire life and everything you think, say and do. It’s the most important organ in your body… but how much do you really think about it? And if you do think about it, do you really know how to take care of it?

Here are the top 10 biggest mistakes people make to their brains:

1. Not protecting it

Who, or what, makes you want to live a long time? If you want to enjoy your loved ones as you age, you must love and protect your brain—every day of your life. One mistake can have a negative impact forever.

2. Letting kids put theirs at risk

It only takes one head injury to change the course of a child’s or teenager’s life forever. Don’t let kids play contact sports, protect their heads, and don’t make the mistake of thinking helmets protect their brains. They protect skull fractures but not against brain damage.

3. Poisoning it

Drugs, alcohol, nicotine, excessive caffeine and environmental pollutants all reduce brain blood flow and activity, which negatively affects cognitive abilities. Alcohol is NOT a health food!

4. Low fat diets

The brain is 60% fat and its one hundred billion nerve cells have membranes that are lined with essential fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids support and enhance your brain-power. Low cholesterol is associated with homicide, suicide, depression and autism.

5. No clear goals to help the brain achieve

Setting goals and working to achieve them provides a sense of accomplishment. With goals, your life becomes more conscious and your energy is spent in healthy ways.

6. Too much TV

Watching TV is a “no brain” activity and the research is compelling: Kids who watch the most TV do the worst in school. Limit screen/device time to no more than 30 minutes a day. This may be hard for kids and teens, but it can make a huge difference, especially if they struggle with ADD/ADHD.

7. No new learning

Your brain is like a muscle—the more you use it, the stronger it gets! Your brain needs a constant stream of new challenges, adventures, sights and skills to remain active over time.

8. Not getting help early

Did you know that dementia processes start in the brain decades before symptoms appear? Early detection with brain SPECT imaging gives people the opportunity to address these issues during the early stages—when treatment is likely to be most effective.

9. Believing every negative thought you have

ANTs are those pesky “automatic negative thoughts” that pop up in your brain automatically and ruin your day. Left unchallenged, they will take over your thoughts and increase the levels of stress hormones circulating through your body, which lowers your brain reserve, makes you gain weight and puts you at greater risk for age-related cognitive decline.

10. Not caring for the brains of those you love

Did you know that the health of your family and friends is one of the strongest predictors of longevity? A friend is someone who helps their loved ones be successful, while an accomplice is someone who helps them maintain their bad habits.

Imaging Changes Everything

At Amen Clinics, we can help you and your loved ones overcome the stigma and suffering associated with ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression, brain injury, weight loss, addictions, memory issues, brain fog, and other emotional and cognitive issues. If you are ready to regain control over your life or help a loved one do the same, give us a call at 888-288-9834 or click here to ask a question.

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  1. Donna Baggett says:

    How do issues like RA, Sjogrens and other autoimmune diseases affect your brain?

    • Helen says:

      I had surgery many years ago to remove part of my thyroid gland due to a tumor. I take Levothyroxine. My mother had dementia or Alzheimer’s. I am having slight memory loss and loss of interest in regular activities. How would that affect my brain?

      • marsha cooper says:

        can you help with bi-polar?

      • GaryAdamsMD says:

        Please have your physician check thyroid labs including free T3 and TPO antibody levels.
        T4 has to be converted to T3 and many people are poor converters. Levothyroxine is only T4.
        You probably need a medicine with T 3 in it as well. Also there is a good chance your vitamin D level is low as well as your testosterone and depending on whether you’ve gone through menopause, your estrogen. Vitamin D should be 60-100. Testosterone should be 150-250 for females so don’t look at what the lab says is normal as normal, because it’s not. Free T3 needs to be between 3.5-4.4 regardless of the TSH and it may need to be higher based on your symptoms. Deficiencies in the hormones above will cause weight gain, fatigue, brain fog, and decreased libido.

  2. Katherine Henderson says:

    What a great article. I was hit in the head as young adult and I use to fall out of the top bunk bed as a child. I dealing with use brain fog and depression.. I’m 59 yrs old. I’ve called your office but I can not afford your prices. My insurance is with Kaiser which is a ppo. Will you suggest something I can do and take to help heal my brain. I want to be well.
    Thank you,
    Katherine Henderson

  3. Teresa jones says:

    Don’t you mean high cholesterol leads to depression suicide etc? Thanks

    • Terry says:

      No Dr. Amen does mean low cholesterol diets are bad for the brain. As well as lopp-sided Omega 3 vs. Omega 6 oils in the diet. It is time for everyone concerned about cognitive capacity as we age to rethink low cholesterol diet recommendations and the results we have seen from that diet.

      • Marie G. says:

        This new view of cholesterol and brain health has me curious about the research and Dr. Amen’s recommendations. Would you publish an email article about this new research? I bought Tana’s cookbook a few years ago. What would she recommend now in light of these new insights? Thanks!

  4. Phyllis says:

    Love the series! I’ve had Several head injuries. At 81 my memory is getting shorter and I’m following everything yet you said for the most part. However I would like a list of what I should be taking and how much. I am currently in on clonazepam or spasms and metoprolol For tachycardia. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  5. Turid says:

    In this article dr. Amen advice us to limit screen/device time to no more than 30 minutes a day.

    I am surprised !
    I have bills to pay,e-mails to answer,newpapers to read and I love to take my daily chess lessons online,just like I now learn to play bridge by reading about it online.
    And I have to stop doing all this ?
    Tell me I misunderstood the advice given .

  6. Eileen the wanderer says:

    I had scarlet fever in the 1940’s and didn’t die because of antibiotics. I also fell and had a brain bleed. Now, I’m in my 80’s and not doing well in the head. Did the antibiotics make me lose my mind?

  7. noreen smith says:

    Low Cholesterol is associated with homicide,suicide,depression and autism wow !!

  8. jennifer says:

    Do you take Aetna Insurance for brain scans?
    I did neuropsch testing on 9/4 but have not had a brain scan.

  9. Martha Garveiy says:

    I have been on 5 medication for bi-polar and schizoid affective disorders for 40 years. The Lithium I take has given me a thyroid problem, and is starting to touch my kidney. I work and go to school, and function pretty well, but am wondering if there is a better way than all this medication.

  10. Ann Shaw says:

    I am 71 who has been using Nitrous Oxide when having dental and periodontal procedures done and wouldn’t have been able to get through these procedures without it. What are the long term effects on my brain, if any?

  11. Carol Wade says:

    I’ve written before concerning my grand day Ellie. She has had issues since she was born. I don’t feel she has had a proper diagnoses and therefore we don’t know what the best course of action is for her. She has been diagnosed with ADHD and miid disorder as well as depression…. Currentky She takes a drug called Atomoxetine HCL 25 MG capsules. She was also just switched to Risperidone 0.5 mg (Risperdal 0.5 mg,) which will probably have to be increased. These help stabelze her moods but not as effectively as us needed.

    We live in Tennessee and her insurance is currently TENNCARE. I’m pretty certain you won’t accept it to cover a scan for her but I want to get her accurately tested somewhere.

    Her behavior issues have disrupted the whole family especially my daughter in law who has to be her primary care giver. She is not a biological child. My son and daughter in law took her in after her biological mother was not able to take care of her due to drug abuse. Yes the mother took drugs during the pregnancy which I’m certain have been the reason for much of the problems my grand daughter has suffered.

    Would you be able to help us and maybe recommend a clinic or a physician that would be a good resource to maybe give us a proper diagnoses of her condition and a possible course of treatment? I have suggested that my son and daughter in law seek out family counseling since this is such a trying situation and I’ve told them they can’t possibly know how to treat the situation without the proper “tools” to cope. But my daughter in law feels like it’s interference and that she is being told she is not a good parent. The truth is she has gone far and beyond what any one else in the family has done and if it were not for she and my son there is no telling where this child would be right now. I also have a biological grand son that this effects as well. When there is a special needs child in a home, we all know it affects the whole family.

    Any advice you offer would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to reach me.
    Thank you in advance for your response.
    Carol Wade

  12. Hilary Wehby says:

    I have a 28 year old son who I believe suffers from depression. He used to smoke marijuana but has stopped. I live in Jamaica and my son is completing post graduate studies in South Florida. He doesn’t think anything is wrong with him most of the time. He sounded suicidal in some recent conversations.

    Where would be the best place to access your services for my son? I noticed you have a clinic in Tampa. Please advise best route to access evaluation and treatment for him and even a crude guesstimate of how much this may cost? Thanks very much in advance for your advice.

    Best Regards

  13. Greg says:

    So high cholesterol is okay? This is contrary to what every other Dr I know says—including Dr Michael Gregger—who is, i believe, the greatest authority on evidence based nutrition. Please refer to his web sate and comment: nutritionfacts.org

    • TJ says:

      See the Documentary “The Real Skinny on FAT” with over 50 renowned Physicians, Cardiologists, Dieticians, Geriatrics, PhD, as well as several federally based nutrition experts who have conducted years of Data, that agree with Dr. Amen regarding Cholesterol!! Naomi Whittel, Dr. Axe, Dr. Oz and Montel Williams have featured exerpts from the series.

  14. Diana Brooks says:

    When I first heard Dr. Amen and his wife Tana on PBS I felt like I’d opened up a miracle of self-discovery….as a teacher I have forwarded to the best of my ability your info to others in hopes they may get relief as well. I take better care of myself since learning more from Dr. Amen and his programs are always fascinating to me. Thank you from the top and bottom of my heart.

  15. Carol says:

    My husband, 63 yrs old, was diagnosed with Alzheimers about 5 years ago. Physically he’s in great shape but his mind continues to decline. Is it possible to slow down the Alzheimer’s? I can bring him to one of your clinics if you think it will help. We live in Alaska – not much help available here, but I’ve taken him to UW in Seattle. I understand that there is no cure but is there hope of slowing it down as he moves from the middle stages to the later?

    • Amen Clinics says:

      Hello Carol, thank you for reaching out. We do have a clinic in Bellevue, WA: https://www.amenclinics.com/locations/northwest/. We’ll have a Care Coordinator reach out to you to discuss other options. Our Care Coordinators can also provide referrals to practices that utilize brain SPECT imaging and The Amen Clinics Method, perhaps some locations of these practices would be closer to you.

  16. Mary Carver says:

    Hi… Is there a difference between brain CT and brain spect imaging? I would love to learn more… Thanks

  17. Marsha cooper says:

    my son is bi-polar. What vitamins do you recommend ? his meds don’t seem yo help.

  18. Iliahi says:

    Yes the brain is important, however the heart is more important. You can check out the research starting
    with the Heartmath Institute.


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