Tag: Michael S. Sweeney

Brain Health

Book Review of Complete Guide To Brain Health: How to Stay Sharp, Improve Memory, and Boost Creativity

National Geographic’s release Complete Guide to Brain Health is a comprehensive study of the brain. The book is also the catalyst for this blog. As I shared in my first post, An Original, brain disease is well established on my mother’s side of the family. I bought this book out of curiosity and read it cover to cover.

Complete Guide to Brain Health is divided into three sections. In the first section, author Michael S. Sweeney concentrates on the anatomy of the brain. He posits that brains can be changed. Further he draws a direct correlation between healthy brains and longevity. Anecdotes of individuals are given as examples. An additional writer, Cynthia R. Green pens “Brain Boosters” throughout the book.

Various scientific studies are discussed in laymen’s terms. Then, each is used as an example of how brains function. The study on the Nuns of Mankato had a great impact on me. In this multi-decade research, scientists studied individuals in the cloister and then examined their brains upon death. The autopsies provided a comparison diagnosis from the physical appearance of the brain. Most of the time there was a match. However, sometimes an individual who showed no signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s prior to death did have the physical signs present in the autopsy. This gives me hope.

Practical guide to Brain Health

While the first part of the book explains how the brain works, the second section is more of a how to guide. Defining Brain Health, Chapter six, gets you started planning a course to change brain health. A Brain Booster entitled Brain Healthy in Ten Steps provides guidance. Some of the steps are easy for me, yet one or two have been elusive.

The second section includes many tips. Some are mental, such as games you might find on Lumosity, and others are related to overall health. Sweeney stresses throughout the book how closely mental health is tied to overall physical health.

The chapter The Art of Remembering is excellent. Both Brain Boosters and Brain Insights are intertwined in a chapter full of information on how your brain remembers things. Different types of dementia are also outlined here. The author is realistic and indicates that limitations exist.

Finally, the last section focuses on the future. The use of chemicals and electricity to alter the brain is discussed in successive chapters. Robotics and artificial intelligence are also briefly covered.

The importance of creativity is the greatest take away for me. Econogal, the website is great for my brain health. It is a nice addition to my other activities since it is stimulating the language portion of my brain.

I strongly suggest buying a copy of this book to anyone concerned about their brain health. The text is informative and well written with plenty of graphics for visual stimulation.