This is an interview I conducted with Dr. Daniel Amen, who is America’s leading brain health expert. He is also an expert on helping to heal damaged brains. He is double board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He did his general psychiatric training at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC.
This is an important interview to read. The KEY TAKEAWAY here is that there are things you can do to literally help heal a damaged brain. Do not read this and feel hopeless. What is interesting about this interview, is that we conducted a survey of 1500 members of the PEERtrainer community. Dr. Amen gave us the questions to give you prior. So this interview is really speaking directly to what the majority of us are all experiencing personally.
Risk Indicator #1: Your Memory
The number one thing that Dr. Amen said is the area of brain concern is memory. Close to 74 percent of the 1500 people surveyed indicated that their memory is worse than it was 10 years ago.
According to Dr. Amen:
“This is the most important question to know, because it tends to be the biggest predictor of Alzheimer’s disease in the future. If your memory is worse than it was 10 years ago, you should be concerned. What we now know — we didn’t know this until recently — but for things like Alzheimer’s disease, the process actually starts in the brain, 30 to 50 years before you have any symptoms.
Now, that’s really important. If you get diagnosed when you’re 59, your brain actually started to have negative changes in its 20s. It is very important not to wait to get healthy.
So many people say, “Well, I’ll get well when I’m 45, or 50, or 60. It’s like you literally have no time to wait when you understand the science. Having memory problems, whether it’s 40, 50, 60s or in you 70s, it’s not normal. It’s a sign your brain is in trouble.”
Most of us think that having memory decline is something that is totally normal as we age.