What is your current job title and organization, and what excites you the most about working there?
As the Founding President and Medical Director at the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation for over 20 years, I am more excited than ever about the possibilities for enhanced mental performance and brain longevity for everyone.
Please tell us about your interest in brain health and performance. What areas are you most interested in? What motivated you to pursue work in your field?
In the beginning of my investigation, I discovered that chronic stress, via the release of the hormone cortisol from the adrenal glands, kills brain cells by the thousands in the hippocampus, or memory center. I realized that this could lead to Alzheimer’s disease, among other problems. I also knew from my studies and personal experience that lifestyle modifications, especially including yoga and meditation, could remedy that. This was the start of the ARPF.
What is one important thing you are working on now, and where can people learn more about it?
We keep on designing and funding research looking at the integrative medical approach to the prevention of Alzheimer’s. We especially are interested in continuing to explore the multiple positive benefits of a simple, brain-enhancing yoga meditation exercise called Kirtan Kriya, or KK. You can learn more about it Here.
What are 1–2 key things you’d like every person to understand about his/ her own brain and mind, that you think are commonly misunderstood?
1. You’re not a prisoner of your DNA
2. You can improve your brain function, regardless of your age and stage of life.
Where do you see clear “low-hanging fruit” to shape the future and the practice of brain fitness?
I believe it’s important to continue to champion the notion that your lifestyle can influence your brain fitness. I’d especially encourage people to make their brain health their top priority.
What would you like the 2014 SharpBrains Virtual Summit to accomplish?
The SharpBrains Summit has been a great venue for several years to discuss new studies, approaches and perspectives in the brain enhancement field. I would like the 2014 edition to raise more public awareness that there are many things we can all do right now to maximize our cognitive function, cellular health, and psycho-spiritual wellbeing.
Finally, if I may…what do YOU do to stay sharp?
I try to always remember to put my health first. Besides that, I practice yoga and meditation every day, have a serious work out regimen 5 times per week, and watch my diet. As for mental exercise, I write songs and play music, which is also great fun.
—This conversation is part of a new interview series with Sponsors & Speakers @ 2014 SharpBrains Virtual Summit (October 28–30th). You can register with a 10% discount using promotional code: sharp2014. Please join us!