12 Prescriptions for Creating a Brain Healthy Life – Part 1

12 prescriptions for creating a brain healthy life-PART 1

The brain is the organ of learning, loving, and behaving. When your brain works right, you work right. When your brain is troubled—for whatever reason—you tend to have trouble in your life.

Your brain weighs only about 3 pounds or about 2% of your body’s weight. Yet, it uses 20 to 30% of the calories you consume, 20% of the oxygen you breathe, and 25% of the blood flow in your body. It is estimated that the brain has 100 billion nerve cells and more connections in it than there are stars in the universe. There are also trillions of supportive cells in the brain called glia. Each neuron is connected to other neurons by up to 40,000 individual connections (called synapses) between cells.

When your brain works right, you work right. When your brain is troubled—for whatever reason—you tend to have trouble in your life. Click To Tweet

A piece of brain tissue the size of a grain of sand contains 100,000 neurons and 1 billion synapses, all “talking” to one another. Information in your brain travels at speeds of up to about 268 miles per hour. If you don’t take care of your brain, you lose on average 85,000 brain cells a day. That is what causes brain aging. With appropriate forethought, however, you can reverse that trend and dramatically slow the aging process and increase your mental agility. Knowing how to care for your brain is the first and most important step to success.

Given the brain’s central role in success, we offer 12 prescriptions to optimize it for a better life in all you do.

Here are the first 6 prescriptions:


Most people never think about their brain for the simple reason that they can’t see inside their heads. We can see if our bellies start to expand or if we start to get wrinkles on our faces, prompting us to take action to improve our appearance.

At Amen Clinics, brain SPECT imaging gives our patients the ability to see the overall health of their brain and to see areas that could benefit from optimization. Seeing is believing, and it helps people fall in love with their brain and want to take care of it every day.

Loving your brain is the first step toward creating a brain healthy life.


Have you ever wondered why certain stresses or injuries affect some people and not others? Why do some people get depressed after losing a parent while others, although sad, keep on going? Why do some people struggle with their mental and cognitive health after a minor head injury while others don’t? Why are some people able to roll with being fired or getting divorced while others nearly lose their minds?

After looking at tens of thousands of brain scans, we began to think about the concept of “brain reserve.” Brain reserve is the cushion of healthy brain tissue we have to deal with the unexpected stresses that come our way. The more reserve we have, the more resilient we are in times of trouble. The less reserve, the more vulnerable we are.

For example, if you fell off a bunk bed onto your head at age of 10, were exposed to chronic stress from alcoholic parents, or drank much alcohol, or used drugs as a teenager, you decreased your brain’s reserve. On the other hand, if you protected your head, were raised by reasonably loving and consistent parents, ate a healthy diet, and avoided drugs and alcohol, you increased your reserve.

The exciting news is that it is never too late to work on increasing your brain’s reserve.


Your brain is soft and your skull is hard. Concussions and even very minor head injuries can ruin your life, so wear your seat belt, drive in safe vehicles, protect your head in sports or steer clear of contact sports.


Do not put toxic substances in your body. If you poison your brain, you poison your mind. Avoid alcohol, drugs (including marijuana), and smoking. In addition, limit your caffeine intake, avoid chemical-laden cleaning products and personal care products, and be careful with prescription and over-the-counter medications.


It is critical to take early memory problems seriously and not just dismiss them as normal aging. One of the MOST important things you can do to keep your memory strong is exercise. Physical activity boosts blood flow, and on SPECT scans, low blood flow is the #1 predictor of future Alzheimer’s disease. There are also several supplements that have good supporting research for memory including phosphatidylserine, acetylcarnitine, saffron, curcumins, fish oil, ginkgo biloba, sage, and a Chinese moss extract called huperzine.


Unfortunately, 60 million Americans have trouble sleeping, which affects your mood, memory, and ability to concentrate. It is estimated that sleep-deprived people cause more accidents than drunk drivers. Because of sleep problems, doctors are prescribing sleep medications that can affect your moods and memory at alarming rates.

To overcome sleep problems, you need to eliminate anything that might interfere with sleep, such as caffeine or alcohol. Additionally, natural supplements such as melatonin, magnesium, l-theanine, and 5-HTP can be helpful.

Hypnosis can be an effective natural replacement for sleeping pills or medications. Hypnosis and self-hypnosis are very powerful tools to help us gain mastery over our own minds and bodies and can be helpful not only for sleep but also for anxiety and pain.

To read the next 6 prescriptions for creating a brain healthy life, click here

If you’re having mental, emotional, or cognitive health issues, it could be a sign that your brain could benefit from optimization. During these uncertain times, your overall brain health and well-being are more important than ever and waiting until life gets back to “normal” is likely to make your symptoms worsen over time.

At Amen Clinics, we’re here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.


  1. What are your fees? Do you take insurance? Where is your clinic located at?

    Comment by Patty — January 15, 2018 @ 9:15 PM

  2. Hello Patty, for information about treatment options, insurance coverage and reimbursement, and financing options, please call our Care Coordinators at 888-288-9834. Thank you.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — January 16, 2018 @ 1:55 PM

  3. Please send me info on where your clinics are, insurance coverage etc.

    Comment by Kathleen Cooper — January 22, 2018 @ 4:53 AM

  4. The article states, “To read the next 6 prescriptions for creating a brain healthy life, follow this link.”. However, the link is inactive. Can it be activated? Thx.

    Comment by Alfonso — January 22, 2018 @ 6:22 AM

  5. Thank you Alfonso, we have checked that our link is working. Here is a direct link to the next blog – https://amenclinics.com/blog/12-prescriptions-creating-brain-healthy-life-part-2/.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — January 22, 2018 @ 9:17 AM

  6. Hello Kathleen, for more information on clinic locations you can visit the list of clinics here – https://amenclinics.com/locations/. To speak to a Care Coordinator about treatment options, insurance, reimbursement, and financing, please call 888-288-9834. Thank you.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — January 22, 2018 @ 9:19 AM

  7. Your brain article makes a lot of sense. If that is true, I must have had a lot of reserve as a child. I was struck in the forehead with the sweet spot of a baseball bat when it left the batters hands. I dropped to my knees, was basically dragged home by friends. My forehead swelled to the point of barely being able to see. I was still conscious so there was no need to see a doctor back then (I’m 74 now) . I’ve lived a successful life with no major mental problems, married 55 years this spring. I now trade options to keep busy and build our retirement funds.

    Comment by Joe — January 23, 2018 @ 6:03 AM

  8. I’ll be shocked if this is posted because I’m sure they are screened. However , before anyone gets too excited they don’t except insurance. Major credit cards yes check, yes. Money order/cashier check, yes. No insurance after you do the evaluations they will give you a piece of paper stating you did the evaluation but it’s up to the insurance company if they reimburse. I called my insurance company of course after I received my patient packet. My insurance company who has unbelievable coverage for mental health said if the FDA and several others don’t except or it isn’t a proven way of treatment then they do not pay for gimmicks. They will never pay for a spect scam if it doesn’t relate to the liver kidneys lungs or scans of Parkinson/ Alzheimer’s. Just thought I would share what I was told. I’m sure no one will see this though

    Comment by Trisha — January 24, 2018 @ 7:56 PM

  9. If I may add One more potential deterrent to sleep. Radio frequency/Wi-Fi. My husband and I had bad sleep for many years. We decided to sleep in different rooms to see if it would help. I moved across the hall , and my sleep greatly improved, Whereas he continued for months to have bad sleep and worked with his doctors to resolve: melatonin, 5 HTP, chamomile, meditation, The list goes on. Nothing worked. He is exhausted..Just this week we tested for radio frequency around his sleeping area and it was very high. We have been turning off the Wi-Fi And his sleep is starting to improve – finally.

    Comment by Paulette — January 26, 2018 @ 7:42 AM

  10. Where is your clinic in Virginia? Fees? Insurance coverage allowed?

    Comment by Rosemary Rose — March 2, 2018 @ 2:58 AM

  11. Fees needed. Also, need directions & address of Virginia clinic please.

    Comment by Rosemary Rose — March 2, 2018 @ 3:01 AM

  12. Hello Rosemary, thank you for reaching out. Our Clinic in Reston, VA is detailed here – https://amenclinics.com/locations/washington-dc/. Also, our Care Coordinators are available to discuss cost, insurance, reimbursement, and financing with you at 888-288-9834 or by completing this form – https://amenclinics.com/schedule-visit/.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 2, 2018 @ 8:27 AM

  13. Thank you. Greatly appreciated!

    Comment by Mel — March 5, 2018 @ 9:35 AM

  14. How many brain scans has the clinic done at this point in time?

    Comment by Brenda — March 6, 2018 @ 12:41 PM

  15. ‘Negative thinking disrupts healthy brain function’
    Very helpful observation- thank you

    Comment by John Flett — March 6, 2018 @ 10:22 PM

  16. My wife was diagnosed at age 64 with Parkinson’s disease. she was put on Senemet for 6 months and then Siferol was introduced and replaced the Senemet. During this time span she was also diagnosed with dementia. she started having hallucinations, lost touch with reality. Suspecting it was the medication I took her off the Siferol (with the doctor’s knowledge) whcih i started using a natural herbal products. she has improved dramatically.

    Comment by Levi Jasper — April 1, 2018 @ 6:30 PM

  17. Dear Amen Clinics, Daniel Amen,

    I just watched your TED talk on brain scans and was blown away realising the impact certain areas of the brain have on specifically OCD, along with all other mental health conditions.
    I am only 24 and for my entire life as far back as I can remember I have struggled with OCD and severe treatment resistant anxiety. Doctors have thrown a huge number of medications at me, with whopping doses and to this day have no relief. It had led me down the path of alcohol abuse just to numb and stop my constant thoughts. I feel like my life can’t progress whilst being in this state and all I want is to make a life for myself.

    I live in Sydney Australia, is there anything that you can provide to help, being in another country as a major stopping factor. I’m just at a point of desperation and surrender.

    Comment by Nicholas — April 13, 2018 @ 3:14 PM

  18. Hello Nicholas, thank you for reaching out and sharing with us. We will send this information to our Care Coordinators and have them reach out to you with assistance. If you would like to reach us, please call 949-266-3715.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — April 16, 2018 @ 7:48 AM

  19. Dear Dr. Amen

    Something has been troubling me for many years. I feel terrible guilt over my daughter’s death. When she was about 20 months old, I was shopping and had her in a shopping cart, sitting with her legs though the seat openings for legs. During the shopping experience, a woman with a child in her cart stopped by and my daughter tried to reach over to the child and fell out of the cart on her head. I immediately took her to the hospital, which turns out to have been a mistake, as they did dozens (it seems like dozens) of x-rays on her head. When she was 24, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. However, I worry that the radiation she received as an infant must have had a terrible affect on her brain. While nothing can be done at this point, I cannot get over the guilt factor – as a Mother I was supposed to protect her. Perhaps there is not a connection, but I still feel (after 75 years) much guilt. Thanks for just letting me express my guilt, grief and sorrow.

    Comment by JOAN S, HANSEN — May 5, 2018 @ 7:57 AM

  20. Of course they wont pay, they and FDA only seem to approve drugs with very very harmful side effects. This makes sense, I have had great results just from taking great supplements over the years

    Comment by Olga — June 26, 2018 @ 7:44 AM

  21. I have yet to be contacted?

    Comment by Nicholas — July 10, 2018 @ 7:57 PM

  22. Hey Joan, I was just scrolling and saw your comment. I’m so sorry for the loss of your daughter. I lost my daughter as well, when we were in a car accident in the rain. One thing I have learned on this journey is that no matter how we lose a child, we all pretty much struggle with guilt. Our primary job is to protect our children and so when something tragic happens, we have feelings of failure and guilt on top of the grief.
    I can tell you that you shouldn’t feel guilty, but as a mother, I know that 100 people can tell you (or me) and it wont change the feeling. But I also know how very detrimental guilt can be to our life. It overshadows everything, even all the good things still around us.
    For me, I have decided that I cannot change what happened, the only thing I can do is to honor my beautiful daughter with how I live now… which means I cant allow things like guilt to color my life in a negative way.
    I hope you are well and able to find peace.

    Comment by Tracy — December 26, 2018 @ 2:54 PM

  23. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 3 years ago at the age of 59. For several months I had noticed tremors in my right hand and the shaking of my right foot when I was sitting. My normally beautiful cursive writing was now small cramped printing. And I tended to lose my balance. Neurologist had me walk down the hall and said I didn’t swing my right arm. I had never noticed! I was in denial for a while as there is no history in my family of parents and five older siblings, but now accept I have classic symptoms. I am taking totalcureherbsfoundation.com herbal treatment  and am about to start physical therapy to strengthen muscles.this herbal treatment has full get rid of my PD after 15 weeks of usage and it has reversed all symptoms.

    Comment by Reece Mia — January 10, 2019 @ 2:01 AM

  24. Do you treat patients with Parkinson’s or diagnosis it?
    And what are your suggested treatment for it?

    Comment by Renee — January 16, 2019 @ 8:22 PM

  25. I have been diagnosed with brain atrophy believed
    to have been
    caused by chemotherapy 10 years ago.
    What course of treatment should I consider now.
    I am concerned about slowing down the progressiion
    Of this terrifying ailment!

    Comment by Carolyn Calderon — January 20, 2019 @ 8:36 PM

  26. Is there a CD version of your book for an ADHD patient?

    Comment by Binuta — January 28, 2019 @ 11:39 AM

  27. I have a daughter that deals with anxiety and depression due to some trauma that has happened to her and We have tried the stress relief supplement for anxiety and depression issues, but made her very lethargic and spacey sometimes.
    Wanted advice on what supplements to give her.

    Comment by Kimberly — March 4, 2019 @ 1:48 AM

  28. Any clinics or other referrals in Dallas, Tx.?
    CHI 1969. Memory issues at times. Stress. Overweight & eating.

    Comment by Beverly — May 10, 2019 @ 5:00 PM

  29. Hello Dr. Amen, I will like to contribute to KCOS/PBS to obtain the package of your books and CD’s but I can’t locate the website. Do you happen to have it?

    Comment by Georgina Garcia — May 21, 2019 @ 5:33 PM

  30. Dear Joan, I know your comment on this page is now 2 years old. But i just wanted you to know that God loves you so much and is always there for you and willing and ready to bring you relief from this terrible feeling of guilt. You did your best in watching and protecting your child and should not continue to feel guilt over her death. I want you to know that God loves us all so much that He gave his son Jesus Christ to bring us to Him through his sacrificial death on the cross. He has promised peace to everyone that comes to him through Christ. I am sure that if you cry out to him with all your heart, He will come to your help. It is never too late to do that. If you have done that already, I pray that He will continue to keep you in peace and be with you as you continue to live your own life.
    Do stay blessed and i wish you all the very best.

    Comment by Uzoh — June 16, 2020 @ 5:23 AM

  31. Dear Joan,

    I don’t know why I stumbled upon this, but your message made me nearly weep. You have been carrying a burden for 75 plus years that you are not meant to carry. My heart and prayers go out to you that this burden is lifted and you are released of this guilt. X-rays would not take your daughter’s life. Breast cancer is not caused by one thing…there are a multitude of factors and something that happened when she was 20 months old would not have been the cause. I pray that you find peace in your daughter’s death and I am sure that she would never want you to carry this burden. And nor does God. I hope that you are able to see the peace in the pain. How because of your experience, you are able to offer comfort and compassion to others that are grieving bc of the loss of a child or someone dearly close to them. Pain is inevitable, the blessing is in finding the purpose in the pain. I pray that you are free as that is what God, your Creator, wants for you. BIG love XOXO

    Comment by Wendy — July 6, 2020 @ 12:13 PM

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