Books for Your Brain Health

Happy Fall! Despite its beautiful red colors, poison oak seems to always be in season along CA's Central Coast.

Happy Fall! Despite its beautiful red colors, poison oak always seems to be in season along CA’s Central Coast.

Although the hot temperatures along California’s Central Coast make it seem more like summer, according to the calendar, it is the first day of Fall. Hooray!

Here’s a look back on my summer reading list:

  • The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healing Your Sinuses by Ralph B. Metson, M.D. with Steven Mardon (2005)–just skimmed this one in hopes of finding some nugget of wisdom to help me with my hearing loss from my ruptured ear drum.
  • Bugs, Bowels, and Behavior- The Groundbreaking Story of The Gut-Brain Connection edited by Teri Arranga, Claire I. Viadro, MPH, PhD, and Lauren Underwood, PhD (2013)–reads more like a scientific paper- you’ll learn all about helminths (aka parasitic worms) and fecal microbiota transplantation! The stuff that big pharma doesn’t want you to read.
  • The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine by Terry Wahls, M.D., with Eve Adamson (2014)–super fascinating–I don’t have MS but I am more conscious of eating for my mitochondria now.
  • Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain–for Life by David Perlmutter, M.D., with Kristin Loberg (2015)–great stuff–especially for those looking to heal your gut. Dr. Perlmutter’s book allows a few more foods in your diet that the Wahls Protocol suggests you take out.
  • Power Food for the Brain: an Effective 3-Step Plan to Protect Your Mind and Strengthen Your Memory by Neal D. Barnard, M.D., with recipes by Christine Waltermyer and Jason Wyrick (2013)–interesting–had a slightly different take than other books on the topic– recommends no meat in diet and no mention of probiotics.
  • The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain: the Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind by Barbara Strauch (2010)–some fascinating stuff I hadn’t read before–surprised she didn’t include any research about the importance of sleep and probiotics though–maybe she assumed that was a given? Or just too much material to fit in one book?

I’m currently reading, “The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole my Life and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped me get it Back” by Clark Elliott, Ph.D. (2015). I’m eager to keep reading this one because I’ve cheated and found out how it ends. Here’s a portion of the book’s synopsis quoted from Dr. Elliott’s website:

After eight years, the cognitive demands of his job, and of being a parent finally became more than he could manage. In one final effort to hold on to his life, Clark crossed paths with two brilliant Chicago-area research-clinicians—one an optometrist using neurodevelopmental techniques, the other a cognitive restructuring specialist—working on the leading edge of brain plasticity. Together, they targeted the visual centers of Clark’s brain, teaching him to use new neural pathways where others had been damaged. The impact was dramatic. Within weeks, the ghost of who he had been returned.

Concussions are so terrible. I love that Dr. Elliott’s story has a happy ending. 🙂

How about you? Do you like happy endings? Have a good book on brain health to share? I’d love to hear about it so I can add it to my Fall reading list.

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