Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Neuro Fitness: The Real Science of Peak Performance From a College Dropout Turned Brain Surgeon, by Rahul Jandial, MD, Phd. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2019

Dr. Jandial is a brain surgeon who was originally a drop-out. But he is no Nick Riviera; he is a highly esteemed doctor with a PhD in neurobiology, with 20 years of post-high school education. So he knows what he’s talking about when he talks about the brain.

This book covers a lot of territory: memory, intelligence, language, creativity, smart drugs (and others), sleep, head injuries (a constantly changing field at the moment), diet for the brain, implants, stem cells, how the brain differs in youth and old age. Turns out the real science of peak performance is pretty much the same as the prescription for general good health: get enough sleep, eat healthy, do what you can to reduce stress, avoid head injuries, and don’t take street drugs or the ones touted on line as ‘smart drugs’. And hope that new treatments for dementia come down the pipeline before you get it. Neurologists and neurosurgeons are doing some amazing things, but there is still so much that can’t be fixed. Hedge your bets by following his prescription.

Pretty easy to read and very interesting. I love reading about medical cases, especially neurology ones, and he does this very well. Of great interest to me was his use of deep brain stimulation (DBS) to abate a case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder-as a life time sufferer of OCD, the thought that there might actually be a non-chemical cure is exciting! This is a book for any fan of Oliver Sacks or of medical tales in general, and for anyone looking to get the best out of their brain.

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