Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Think Smart (Richard Restak, M.D.)

I listened to this on CD while we were traveling. It was quite interesting. The beginning talks about the best things to do for your brain's health: eat well and exercise (why is it always the same thing?!) :)
He also tells of interesting ideas for ways to increase your mental capacity. It inspired me to work on my memory and concentration skills. I have set a goal to memorize six piano songs over the next year and continue learning new words, writing, and memorizing lists.
I was particularly fascinated with his information on Alzheimer's. When people's brains were examined, after death, they discovered that there were grey areas of the brain - as if those areas of the brain were worn out. The interesting thing is they appeared in people's brains who exhibited symptoms of Alzheimer's as well as those who didn't. The difference seemed to be those who worked on brain active brain skills rather than falling into passivity in old age, as well as if they had spent their younger years learning and staying mentally engaged. Fascinating.

Goodreads Summary:

In Think Smart, the renowned neuropsychiatrist and bestselling author Richard Restak details how each of us can improve and tone our body's most powerful organ: the brain.

As an expert on the brain, Restak knows that in the last five years there have been exciting new scientific discoveries about the brain and its performance. So he has asked his colleagues—among them the world's leading brain scientists and researchers—one important question: What can I do to help my brain work more efficiently? Their surprising and remarkably feasible answers are at the heart of Think Smart.

Dr. Restak combines advice culled from cutting-edge research with brain-tuning exercises to show how individuals of any age can make their brains work more effectively. In the same accessible prose that made Mozart's Brain and the Fighter Pilot a New York Times bestseller, Restak presents a wide array of practical recommendations about a variety of topics, including the crucial role sleep plays in boosting creativity, the importance of honing sensory memory, and the neuron-firing benefits of certain foods.

In Think Smart, the man the Smithsonian Institution has called "wise, witty, and ethical" offers audiences helpful suggestions for fighting neurological decline that will put every listener on the path to building a healthier, more limber brain.

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