There’s so much information that we are exposed to day in and day out focused on what we should be eating. But lately there seems to be an important shift in the conversation to trying to understand when we should eat. Truthfully, we had always thought that to be healthy we should be following the “three meals a day” rule, with special emphasis on breakfast since it was thought to be “the most important meal of the day.” But, gratefully, well-respected researchers are now challenging these ideas. Continue reading
By Dr. Austin Perlmutter
In the wake of the global spread of the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19), many of us have started to think more carefully about our health. How can we reduce our risk of infection and of infecting others? How can we improve our immune function? What might the virus do to our lungs, heart and blood vessels? But while these questions are very important, it’s also critical to consider how a pandemic affects our brains and how to guard them against this damage. Specifically, we need to be considering strategies to protect our mental and cognitive health.
We’ve long known that mental health suffers in periods of high stress. So it’s no surprise that the current pandemic has been linked to a spike in feelings of anxiety and depression. A troubling May 2020 survey reported that over 34% of Americans are now experiencing these symptoms. This comes at a time when the world is already experiencing an epidemic of mental illness. Continue reading
“I can feel your sadness.” This is a declaration we are certainly hearing frequently these days. And it’s not to be taken lightly. Experiencing another person’s sadness, for example, and having the ability to share in their feelings is called emotional empathy. It is emotional empathy that helps us build emotional connections with other people and ultimately serves as the thread of our existence as social beings.
Our ability to share in the joy of another person’s success or achievement, as well as our sense of heartbreak when someone experiences a personal tragedy, are fundamental elements of our social fabric. Simply stated, our social existence depends deeply on our ability to participate in the emotional experiences of others. Continue reading
It’s quite likely that very few people wouldn’t want to do everything they could to preserve the integrity and functionality of their brains. As it turns out, we, each and every one of us, have a lot to say about how our brains change over time.
We certainly don’t need to be reminded that persistent head trauma can pave the way for brain degeneration as we have seen with professional football players and others involved in contact sports. Further, there has been a lot written about the value of exercise in terms of a brain preservation program. Sleep, both its duration as well as its quality, has also gotten some of the spotlight as of late as we have begun to recognize how, during deep sleep, our brains are actually quite active in terms of ridding themselves of potentially damaging accumulations of various types of chemicals and debris. Continue reading
In today’s video, Dr. Austin Perlmutter takes a look at a recent study that sought to understand the impact of lack of (restorative) sleep on our decision-making. In particular, how this lack of sleep can impact our decision-making as it relates to our food choices. If you’ve read Brain Wash, then you likely know where this is heading, but let’s take a look at the research. Continue reading
One of the central themes in Brain Wash is regaining the ability to make good choices. Not a day goes by that we don’t see or hear about another new book telling us how a specific diet, or other lifestyle change, will likely bring about health. As you might expect, I know many of these authors (and I’ve been honored to host many on The Empowering Neurologist) and, these days, almost all of these books are absolutely providing terrific information. Where the disconnect happens is between information and action, meaning it’s all well and good to read these books, but thereafter, choices have to be made to implement the material that has been learned.
The leading causes of death and disability worldwide are chronic degenerative conditions. These familiar diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and type II diabetes are increasing globally, at a dramatic rate, in every region, and in all socioeconomic classes. To be clear, chronic degenerative conditions exceed deaths caused by famine, war, and even infectious diseases. Importantly, this was not always the case.
What has changed? Certainly, it hasn’t been our genetics. Our DNA has changed very little in the past hundred thousand years. And yet, we are suddenly experiencing a virtual explosion in the prevalence of these conditions.
To understand why do these conditions are now so widespread, we have to ask if there’s any shared mechanism that underlies chronic degenerative diseases as a group. Indeed there is. In a word, it’s inflammation. All of these conditions represent a consequence of increased levels of inflammation within the body, and higher levels of inflammation can damage heart arteries, the brain, the joints, and even disrupt the function of the immune system allowing cancer to manifest.
So, if inflammation is at the root of what our now the most pervasive diseases on our planet, it really makes sense to explore how our modern world is amping up inflammation as this should clearly provide us some action points to live a healthier and longer life. Continue reading
Look around and ask yourself, could things be better? We believe the answer is a resounding yes. And this is our ultimate goal in bringing out our new book, Brain Wash.
Brain Wash is a functional roadmap for understanding how so much of what characterizes our modern world influences our brains and, most importantly, our decision-making. From our modern diets to our lack of restorative sleep to our virtual addiction to our digital experiences, the trappings of modern times actually conspire to keep us unfulfilled, impulsive, and self-centered. Brain Wash begins by bringing these powerful influences into stark reality. We present a framework for appreciating the negative impact of these exposures, and then provide a set of practical interventions for reclaiming our brains and improving our physical and mental health. Continue reading
Last February, my wife and I were attending a health-related symposium and noted that many of the speakers were wearing an OURA ring. We learned that the OURA ring was one of the latest entries in the field of wearable technology. What was most intriguing for us was how many of our friends described the insights they were gaining in terms of the length and quality of their sleep. So we decided to buy a couple of these and learn, firsthand, what all the excitement was about. Our level of understanding of not only our day-to-day activities, but, perhaps more importantly, the characteristics of our sleep experience, was not only revealing but powerfully empowering.