This past Monday evening my father Dr. Galland and I went to his alma mater, New York University School of Medicine, for a lecture by Dr. David Perlmutter, an internationally recognized leader in integrated neurology.
Titled the Neuroscience of Enlightenment, the lecture focused on how to use lifestyle to maintain a healthy brain and prevent common conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
At first glance it sounds like a doctor lecturing at a medical school about neurology would be more rocket science than rock and roll.
But that was before Dr. Perlmutter walked onstage and proceeded to hold the audience in rapt attention for a two hour performance. His passion for sharing his learning and insight was apparent throughout.
His presentation was equal parts education and motivation, encouraging us to benefit from all the amazing research that has been done.
More by Dr. Perlmutter: Neurogenesis: How to Change Your Brain
Now I am very interested in natural approaches to brain health, so the opportunity to learn from the master in the field was exciting for me. I took a bunch of notes, and here is a very brief summary of the lecture. Luckily for all of us, Dr. Perlmutter is a prolific writer of books and scholarly articles, and has contributed articles to pilladvised.com that we look to for greater detail.
Dr. Perlmutter stressed the importance of evidence-backed medicine, focusing on the research published in major medical journals, in the quest for a maintaining a healthy brain.
“We have the power to control brain destiny,” he began, and proceeded to explain how to achieve that throughout our lives.
Lifestyle choices, from nutrition and supplements to exercise, were the way to age in a healthy manner, he noted.
2 Keys to Degenerative Diseases
There are two major factors contributing to chronic diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s, he explained:
2) oxidative stress
So the key is to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress to prevent disease such as Alzheimer’s, which he pointed out would, on average, strike half the members of the audience who lived to the age of 85.
Learn More: Alzheimer’s Prevention: Reducing Your Risk
Touching on traditional Indian and Chinese medicine, Dr. Perlmutter then looked at the modern research.
DHA Key Player in Brain Health
Revealing that the brain is 70% fat, Dr. Perlmutter looked at the critical role that DHA, derived from algae or fish oil, is to brain health.
Antioxidants for Preventing Alzheimer’s
He said that having antioxidant coverage might help prevent Alzheimer’s. In one study, from the Archives of Neurology, use of Vitamin C and Vitamin E helped reduce Alzheimer’s by 78%.
Read Dr. Perlmutter’s How Antioxidants Fight Aging
He looked at deficiency of glutathione in Parkinson’s, and showed a video that highlighted the effectiveness of this powerful antioxidant.
He explained how foods and nutrients can help trigger the body’s production of antioxidants, by activating the Nrf2 protein. Dr. Perlmutter notes “Activation of Nrf2 essentially opens the door for the production a vast array our body’s most important antioxidants.”
He listed NrF2 activators that boost antioxidant production:
Both caloric restriction and exercise have been shown in research studies to boost memory, according to Dr. Perlmutter. Exercise can even grow a bigger hippocampus, he added.
The takeaways were clear: take care of your brain and you will stay sharp, age better and reduce your risk of degenerative diseases.
So if you have the opportunity to hear Dr. Perlmutter at one of his frequent lectures, don’t miss the experience. It’s sure to be educational, motivational and enlightening.
To learn more about Dr. Perlmutter, read his bio below and check out his books.
David Perlmutter, M.D., FACN is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of nutritional influences in neurological disorders. A board-certified neurologist, Dr. Perlmutter is the author of bestselling books including Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment and The Better Brain Book .
Dr. Perlmutter has appeared on 20/20, Larry King Live, CNN, Fox News, Fox and Friends , the Today show, The Oprah Show, and The Early Show on CBS. He serves as medical director of the Perlmutter Health Center in Florida and is an adjunct instructor at the Institute for Functional Medicine.
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